Game Thread [01] Year of the Waterlily, Tillsoil - RPG Crossing
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  #1  
Old Dec 14th, 2021, 05:51 AM
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[01] Year of the Waterlily, Tillsoil

right-aligned image
Tillsong is here in earnest. A breath of relief after the solemn months of Chill.

The Crossroads Trade Meet was bustling. Feldspar kept to the fringes, content to watch the bartering. Chill had still been in the air, and it was heartening to see cheer in other kith as they bickered in good nature over the value of baubles.

On this track, there is less activity, although the path looks well-travelled. Trees dot the hills, but the soil looks dry here even as the world melts and finds its warmth again. Clouds threaten rain, at the very least. Ahead, a faint whirring drifts over the dales, soft and steady as bug-song but getting louder as they approach.

The group is an odd assortment of travellers. Feldspar takes up the rear, feeling a little winded from the hilly trek despite his usual constitution. He's fallen in with other kith, all with wildly different reasons to be on this road. They found each other, if only for a little while.

Normally he would be more philosophical about the providence of their shared journey. But Feldspar is a little impatient. His ankles are inflamed from the long walk and although he wants to press on, he's tired. "Hold on, hold on," he says with resignation, and lowers himself onto a mossy boulder. "I only need a moment. Although I'm keen to arrive, no good if my legs fall off first." He manages a laboured laugh. He's not as young as he used to be, although he hates reminding himself of that. He cocks his head to listen to the distant whirring. "Sounds close. Sorry, everyone. Should've carried on for just a few more steps, hm?" He rises slowly. "That will do. Just a little further." He lumbers along, although leaning on his stick a little more. "I'm looking forward to some warm tea, what about the rest of you?"

Feldspar - TokensNone

Question/sGroup: Did you get anything for yourself (or for someone else) at the Trade Meet?
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Old Dec 14th, 2021, 07:18 AM
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Gotz the Poet
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Gotz didn't trade for much at the market. He spent most of his time wandering about, scribbling down notes and bothering strangers to ask sudden questions. "Which stall is best to barter bread from?" and similar inquiries. They aren't out of place for the location; Most assume he is asking for advice. At least until the crow saunters up to the baker in question and asks how he learned his trade.

He does end up buying a few things, however: A jar of honey, some coffee beans, a wax candle, and a single, white saucer. Gotz does not elaborate what he needs these for, nor does he do anything other than immediately place them inside his pack, taking extra care to wrap the saucer in a bundle of fresh leaves to keep it safe from shattering.


While walking along the road, Gotz keeps largely to himself at first. He switches positions within the pack multiple times, sometimes in the very rear, sometimes adjacent to others... never in the front, however. His hand never lets go of his green, leaf-bound journal or his quill, seemingly plucked from his own body if the color is to go by. Gotz introduces himself and takes down the names of others, writing them into his book. He likes to listen in to the banter of others, if any, and politely asks, "Do you mind if I record snippets of our conversations?" Answering yes resigns one to the occasional sudden question. Sometimes they are logical ones: "Where did you hear that saying?" or "How long ago did this story happen?" Sometimes they are non-sequiturs, inserted at random in the middle of banter. "What's your favorite color?" or "What's the most memorable flower you've ever seen?"


It is rare that Gotz gives a story of his own. He prefers to write down others'.


When Feldspar takes a rest, Gotz remarks, "No apologies are necessary. We would not have had the time to examine this patch of country if you hadn't taken a rest." The crow looks up from his journal to genuinely survey the surroundings. "A few more steps would have deprived us of this experience, just as stopping a spell deprived us of a slightly earlier arrival." Gotz seems distracted as he says this, muttering more to himself as he runs his talons through a tuft of tall grasses with feathery flowers.


When the group returns to travel, Gotz answers Feldspar's question with the longest "story" he's given so far. "I've concluded that I prefer cold tea. Even when I think I'd like hot tea, I end up getting absorbed with writing and forget about it. Therefore, I must really prefer tea that has steeped a very long time and grown cold, or else I'd surely pay more attention, wouldn't I?"

TokensNone

QuestionsGroup: Did you notice anything interesting when we stopped to let Feldspar rest?
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Old Dec 14th, 2021, 12:35 PM
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Shamal the Dancer
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The warmth of the Tillsoil sun is a welcome change from recent months, sinking into Shamal's body and lightening his step. He plays a tune on his reed flute as the group walks down the path, keeping a steady rhythm to set the pace. As he notices Feldspar beginning to get fatigued, however, he begins to let the tempo slip, easing the pace of travel until Feldspar finally decides a rest is in order.

The Trade Meet had been grand fun. Shamal had found an open space amidst the merchant's stalls and spread blankets and had danced and sung for passersby. Many people smiled and some had even joined in on his dance for unfamiliar places, laughing and kicking their feet. He had not had to pay for food and drink that day, and a rook had given him a few bright pink ribbons that they said would suit him better. Shamal still hasn't decided what to do with them, but every once in a while he will fish them out of his pouch to admire.

As they all pause for a rest, the wind seems to gently circle them. Rather than carry sounds and smells from elsewhere, it seems to invite them to contemplation. The lagoon is asking a question, see below.The breeze stirs through Tobira's feathers in particular, teasing at the thoughts she has been carrying in silence. It lifts a loose feather off her body and sends it twisting and tumbling through the air like a dancer, and Shamal can't help but dance in imitation of it.

The moment passes, and the group is moving again, but instead of taking up his flute again, Shamal walks alongside Feldspar and Gotz, taking an interest in their conversation. "Are you sure," Shamal asks, looking up at Gotz with a gleam in his eye, "that it doesn't just mean you prefer writing to tea? Or perhaps you don't prefer tea at all, and would rather something else?" He laughs and makes a little hop, scuffing his bandaged feet against the road with a smile.
OOCHotsuSama: You should take a token for pausing a moment and getting some rest (pg. 18).
Roekahs: The lagoon is asking Tobira, "What have you been thinking about lately?" Get a token for her thoughts.
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Old Dec 14th, 2021, 03:45 PM
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Tobira, The Vagabond
right-aligned image
Tobira trudges along, oblivious to her place in the group, seemingly lost in thought. A dark hat of some unknown matte material with a brim curling upward at both sides is pulled low over her eyes. A feather of a deep shade of purple stands high, flickering gently in the breeze. A black, travel-stained cloak rests lightly on her shoulders, hanging near enough to the ground that the origin of the mud stains coating it are far from a mystery. Her left wing is still wrapped in gauze and a splint, and she scratches at the bandage absently on occasion.

Tobira had been decent company on the road prior to the Trade Meet, but immediately after they left she had been downright abysmal, barely speaking and rarely engaging with her companions. She was especially standoffish when the topic of the Trade Meet arose- which it did frequently as memories and stories were shared - though she must have had a few of her own for her rucksack is nearly bursting at the seams after their stop.
Tobira had wandered about the traders' tents and stalls for quite a while. The bustling activity had left her feeling both apprehensive - often glancing over her shoulder or skirting past someone looking directly at her – as well as more at home than she had felt in a while. It had been both a blessing and a curse to be back in the bustling activity of a market after the lonely contemplation of the road.

At first, she had been happy to engage the traders and even tried her hand at haggling. The quiet peace of traveling the Haeth had soaked into her soul.

Just a little, though.

It had not taken long before a particularly large Ox trader had decided to drive a hard bargain. Tobira hadn't even really cared about the polished rock that much, she had just been enjoying the experience. But the trader had become pushy and just a little rude (or perhaps it had only been her perception)... so she took the stone when he was distracted. She took it and stashed it in her splint.

It had been like the floodgates opening. Suddenly everything washed back over her and she had liberated a bevvy of supplies. Not a trader was the wiser. Old skills put to old uses while old habits reared their terrible heads.
The road does wonders for the lost, giving direction without the requirement of destination, and it becomes increasingly difficult to brood with the energetic Shamal and ever curious Gotz chattering or dancing. Or both. Simultaneously.

As Tobira finally emerges from her brooding vigil, the topic of the Trade Meet still seems to cause substantial consternation and she simply insists that she "had a bad experience" without divulging more. At the first meal they all take together on the road, Tobira produces a small biscuit of some grain substance, embedded with a multitude of tasty fruits.

Ever since that meal the supplies that Tobira has pulled from her sack have been (somewhat hesitantly at first) shared with her traveling companions. On multiple occasions, she has insisted – maybe a little too vehemently – that she had 'compensated' the traders. The nature of that compensation still has not been elaborated upon.

Tobira doesn't admit it out loud, but she is relieved when Feldspar takes a rest. The next destination is so near. Gotz's words filter through her worry. She blinks several times at her fellow avian companion. Then a breeze ruffles her feathers and plays with her thoughts. A scent on the air, or … something more. It pulls at her, tugging old memories to merge with current thoughts. All the stolen supplies. ALL of them. She has lived like this for so long that she can barely remember a different life. Her memory goes back. At first it was to survive, but now? How does she continue to do the same thing? How does she stop?

The invasive breeze whooshes away. Next time she wishes it would take her regrets with it. Still lost in thought, Tobira unconsciously reaches out to aid Feldspar to his feet as they group resumes their trek onward.

Tokens1

QuestionsGroup: What are you looking forward to most about our new destination?
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Old Dec 14th, 2021, 08:36 PM
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Felspar is a little self-conscious at being the one to halt the group, but everyone takes it in good spirits. The poet Gotz has a point - we contemplate things best when we aren't so preoccupied with doing. Feldspar has found that moment of stillness a little harder to achieve lately. His journey has been long, and it may be much longer than he'd reckoned.

"Do you mind if I record snippets of our conversations?" Gotz had asked him earlier.

Feldspar had said yes, with some amusement. He fancied just letting the poet have a look through his own book of verse, but it didn't feel like the right time to share that part of himself so suddenly. It wasn't his verse, but it was a part of him all the same.

When he rises, Tobira helps him along his first steps. Feldspar's large leathery hand cups the bird's shoulder delicately, not wanting to disturb the sublime lines of plumage, trying not to use her for support too much. "You're very kind. Thank you. You've even been sharing your trade goods with us, don't think I haven't been taking stock of that! I'm used to getting by on very little, you know. Keep spoiling me and I'll have to compensate you in turn." He looks down the road, listening briefly to the whirring that awaits them. "I hear the this place tells stories about the Haeth's history. I hope it can guide me to my final destination. Perhaps there's something there for you as well?"

Shamal is dancing like a leaf and bantering with Gotz about the desirability of tea. Feldspar has already grown admiring of him; fun, quick-witted and pleasant company. "Shamal! Even the most cold-hearted kith wouldn't turn you away in these spirits. Can we trouble you to lead the way for us? I beg of you for the sake of my old ankles!" There's self-mockery in his tone so it hopefully doesn't come across as a selfish plea.

Feldspar - Tokens
+1 from the earlier post to 'Pause for a moment and get some rest.'

Question/sShamal: Will you lead the way? (Gain a token if you do.)
Group: We're getting closer to our next destination. What is this place called?
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Old Dec 15th, 2021, 10:55 AM
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Orthal, the Exile
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The journey allowed for thought and reflection.

Between the pondering footfalls, and the puffs of dust as a result, there developed an almost cathartic sense of automation. One foot in front of the other, next foot in front of that, and so on and on it went. The conscious awareness of the act of walking was long since gone, it had become second nature, just another way of life for one such as he. Orthal, a bear-kith, was an exile in every respect; no home, no people, no place he felt comfortable save the open road.

It was a lonely existence, being the only one of your kind in the lands beyond those you're familiar with. Yet, it could almost be more accurate to say that it was a lonely existence being potentially the last of your entire kith community, ever since--

No, I will push that out of mind. No more of those thoughts today.

With a new train of thought, Orthal considered the location the small group had departed. The Trade Meet had been unproductive for Orthal. He never felt comfortable around large crowds, so used was he to wandering the hæth alone or in small numbers for company. The large bear-kith had been short and curt in his dealings, saying little more than what was needed, but doing his best to remain respectful of those that sought further interaction. And not for nothing, but the exile felt that much of his dealings seemed skewed to his favor, potentially because of his demeanor or physicality, it was hard to say. Nonetheless, Orthal had refreshed his traveling stocks, and his backpack was once again filled and ready for the next stretch.

The other kith - each of them known to varying degrees, though friendly all - spoke betwixt one another. Orthal was near the front of the procession, his ponderous frame well hidden under the expanse of a large cloak. Those that the exile was familiar with knew what was beneath, the bulky furred form covered in scars, and the one permanently damaged left knee that gave Orthal a limp. The limb had healed as best it was able, but there was no escaping the fact the bone wasn't quite right...

Nothing for it. I keep walking, regardless.

When Felspar called for a rest, Orthal enjoyed the moment to Pause for a moment and get some restlikewise recuperate. The roads of the hæth were not made for sprinting, they were intended as marathons, and woe to the kith that didn't realize before it was important to know. Yet, as the others continued to talk, and the time for rest passed, the old bear's ears caught the distinct sound of whirring on the wind - they were close, as Felspar voiced not moments later.

Behind, the discussion continued amongst the group. Orthal glanced back, cast squinted black eyes over Gotz and Shamal, before he grunted and lumbered onward. Both were chipper, talkative, and for the most part that was pleasant. Sometimes, though, Orthal enjoyed the silence and seclusion... but not today. It was Tillsoil, the change in season was a welcome one, and with the warmth so too did the exile's temperament improve. Tobira, however, didn't seem to feel the same, though Felspar spoke to her at the back of the procession of kith, so it was likely whatever was the problem would be handled.

"Not far now," Orthal said suddenly, his voice deep, as the tones reverberated in the open space. "I can see it, over that low rise, the very tip of an ancient structure."

To emphasize the revelation, the bear-kith pointed a large paw, and glanced back.

"The Ancient Workshop."

Felspar, his joints still an issue, called for Shamal to take the lead. Orthal didn't mind. The smaller kith was excitable, it would probably be fun for him to reach the destination first. In response, the exile backtracked and joined both Felspar and Tobira, and inclined his head to the kith with the trunk.

"Almost there, old tusk. Lean on me, too, if you need it." Orthal said in his rumbling voice, but the edges of his mouth turned upward into a smile as he ribbed his friend with the nickname. He turned his attention to the feathered kith, eyebrows raised. "Excited to see the loom, Tobira? It is not everyday we get to see a small piece of history along the road."

And ahead, the low rise was crested, and Orthal wondered at what awaited their arrival...

Tokens

Question/sGroup 1: The Ancient Workshop is over the next rise, does anyone come to meet/greet us?

Last edited by Humble Hero; Dec 15th, 2021 at 10:59 AM.
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Old Dec 15th, 2021, 01:14 PM
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Gotz the Poet
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaigen View Post
"Are you sure," Shamal asks, looking up at Gotz with a gleam in his eye, "that it doesn't just mean you prefer writing to tea? Or perhaps you don't prefer tea at all, and would rather something else?" He laughs and makes a little hop, scuffing his bandaged feet against the road with a smile.
right-aligned image
Tapping the tip of his beak with a single Talon, Gotz pauses, staring into space as he considers the suggestion. "You might be correct about the writing. If I wanted a different drink, surely I would seek one. But perhaps writing... hmmm... This is very troubling. I do not think I can quench my thirst with scribbles. Perhaps if I drink the ink... no, no, I despise ink most of all. Why else would I try to use it all up?" By the end, Gotz is muttering nonsensical musings. He looks equally perturbed as he does grateful to Shamal for helping him sort out his own desires.


Tobira snaps Gotz out of his own mind by handing him a silver ring that had caught her eye during her spree of sticky fingers. Gotz takes it with a confused look on his face, as if he is deciding whether he can accept the gift. Then he brightens up and exclaims, "Oh! I see. Thank you very much!" The bird bends down and picks up a stone, hold it against the ring, and begins to scrub the two together vehemently for a few seconds. When he stops, he eyes the stone, and witnesses a small collection of powdered silver scraped from the ring. "This is perfect! Many thanks. I'll use it later when we rest once again!" He stuffs both the rock and the ring into a small pouch on his pack, then makes another hasty note in his journal.


Orthal points out the tip of the Ancient Workshop's tower ahead, and Gotz flips to a new page but does not write. He is waiting to see more of the structure to sketch it. Perhaps a poet should endeavor to paint all pictures with words, but Gotz has never subscribed to the belief, in large part to his philosophy that "everything worth doing is worth doing poorly." And he certainly was a poor artist, in his opinion. None of his sketches approached the majesty of the real article.

As the group approaches, cresting the hill, a young aardvark can be seen lying on her back in the middle of the path. Her long-snouted head with large ears are oriented in the direction of the group, while her feet face the workshop. They rhythmically raise up and thump against the dirt road to a tune that plays only in her own head. The girl watches the clouds drift by slowly, and almost doesn't notice the group approaching. But the heavy footfalls of Orthal and Feldspar, along with the happy scuffing of Shamal's energetic feet alert her, and she tilts her head back to look at the approaching travelers.


She gasps excitedly. "New people!" Quickly climbing to her feet, the girl dusts off her dress and rushes up to the group.

"Hey! Hey, I'm Ellie! Have you been walking a long time? You can stop and stay with my family for a while, and then you can tell me all about where you've been!" It seems clear she was struggling to fight off boredom before the group arrived, and that their arrival was like the answer to a prayer.

Gotz looks up from his journal long enough to barter with the child, as if he has haggling for bread with a merchant. "Only if you tell us about your own journeys. I'd love to write them down."

Ellie giggles at the odd bird. "Journeys? I've never traveled far from home..."

Gotz replies with a confused look and shakes his head. "What does it matter how far the journey is? To a bee, even another rose on the same bush is a fresh and new experience."

TokensNone

QuestionsGroup: Ellie takes an interest in one of the travelers and Friendly Traitstrikes up a conversation with them in particular on the way back. Who catches her interest, and why?

KithThere is a KITH here.

Name: Ellie (she/her)
Form: Aardvark
Knows: No one, but perhaps Feldspar recognizes some Eugene's features in her.
Description: Ellie is the youngest of Eugene's grandchildren. She is playful, exuberant, and brimming with energy and life. Her family is isolated, and she meets few kith her age, but she doesn't mind; The trees and flowers, the wind and rain, and the bugs the scurry and flutter about are all her companions.
Traits: • Describe an everyday object in a way no one’s ever thought
about it before.
• Forget about something really important.
Imaginative | • Look on the bright side.
• Galavant into an awkward situation.
Cheerful | • Start up a conversation with someone else.
• Get really attached to an inanimate object.
Friendly
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Last edited by Solid Snek; Dec 15th, 2021 at 01:15 PM.
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Old Dec 15th, 2021, 04:10 PM
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Shamal the Dancer
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When Orthal points out the tip of the spire over the next rise, Shamal leaps onto a nearby boulder and shields his eyes with one hand to peer in that direction. "I see it!" He calls out. "We're almost there!" Feldspar's encouragement to take the lead is almost superfluous against the excitement Shamal is already feeling, but he gives the elephant a jaunty wave and somersaults off the boulder before scampering down the well-worn path.

As he crests the rise, Shamal almost doesn't see Ellie lying in the path in time, but he jumps over her at the last minute and spins around. "Hi Ellie!" he says in response to her introduction. "I'm Shamal!" He dances from foot to foot as Gotz launches into his usual requests for stories about journeys. "We're heading to the workshop," he breaks in.

Ellie puffs out her chest and speaks proudly, "That's where I live! Mom and Dad work there, and Grandpa supervises." She nods sagely to emphasize the importance of supervision.

"Then I bet Gotz is right, and you know all kinds of stories from journeying about your home." He resumes walking towards the workshop, Ellie falling into step alongside him.

"Weeeelll..." she says, drawing the word out as she thinks. "I know all about the Teacher who lives in the rocks."

"You mean they live in a cave?"

"No," she says authoritatively. "They live in the rocks. If you fall asleep with your ear against the rocks, then the Teacher whispers advice to you while you sleep."

"Woooow," Shamal says. "Have you done that?"

"No," Ellie says, disappointed. "It's too uncomfortable to sleep against rocks. I always roll away while I'm asleep."

"Huh." They both fall silent as they chew on that thought, until Shamal looks up and realizes they're almost to the workshop. "We're here!" he calls back to the others, then bursts into a run the rest of the way there.

The Ancient Workshop is a tall stone building, with large windows set high into the walls on each side to capture as much light as possible. A bell tower rises from an open courtyard in the center, forming the spire that Orthal first spied from a distance. The entrance is a wooden gate, large enough to admit a cart. Shamal runs up to it and knocks three times, but there's no response from within. "Huh," he says, and presses an ear to the door. Though muffled by the door, he can hear the crashing of a multitude of looms (though not The Loom) as weavers work the treadles and bang the reeds to batten the wefts. It's no wonder no one can hear him over that cacophony.

Shamal decides that more volume is the answer. "Oiiiii!" he calls at the top of his lungs, pounding on the door again. Ellie giggles and joins her voice (and hands) to the same purpose. "OIIIIIIII!"
Tokens
QuestionGroup: What's something really important that Imaginative traitEllie has forgotten about?
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Old Dec 20th, 2021, 06:43 AM
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Orthal, the Exile
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They moved like fireflies excitedly on the wind.

Not usually one to introduce himself first or approach new kith, Orthal was content to listen and observe as both Gotz and Shamal met with Ellie. She seemed a kind girl, one who enjoyed getting lost in thought and watching the clouds. Orthal could appreciate kith who could do that, even though he wasn't one of them, and in some ways envied how much freedom could be gained from being so carefree.

"The structure looks impressive," Orthal noted as he looked beyond the smaller kith ahead and to the building before them. "I wonder how many looms they have... surely many would be required to take down all the events of the land?"

Orthal's musings were disrupted by a loud shouting and banging on the front door. Both Shamal and Ellie seemed taken to the task, loud enough to try and be heard over the workshop within!

"What's all this racket?" An elderly voice called from behind the large door. It creaked open, as an old aardvark peered through, face covered in wrinkles and thick-lens glasses on his nose. "Ellie? Is that you mak--oh, Ellie, quickly come here child!"

The little excited girl looked confused, but walked to the older kith's side, as trait: cautioushe reached out protectively for her.

"Grandpa?" She asked, as she looked to Shamal and Gotz. "These are my friends, they wanted to see the loom!"

"Oh... oh, I see, I see," Her grandfather nodded, before he cleared his throat and opened the door more fully. "I am Eugene. I supervise here. And this is my granddaughter... speaking of, Ellie, did you get the letter to the dye supplier as I asked?"

Ellie swallowed.

"Ellie dear?" Eugene prompted though he suspected the answer.

"No." Ellie looked down and shook her head. "I'm sorry, grandpa, I saw some clouds and I started watching them, and... I think I napped, too."

"Oh, Ellie, I understand my dear," The elderly aardvark said, a trait: empatheticwry frown on his face, but he wasn't disappointed. He knew his granddaughter liked to fall into moments of imagination, lost to her thoughts, but sometimes the times she did so weren't ideal. "We urgently need that extra navy dye, however. That spill this morning, you see. I'll have to... well... I guess that is to say--hm--devise a way to, oh my, oh no... how do I get this letter to the suppliers?"

"I can still go, grandpa," Ellie insisted, as she raised her eyebrows. "I can run really fast after them!"

"No, no, child, I have a feeling they are too far along the path now," Eugene sighed, but patted the child's head and offered a smile nonetheless. "It's much too dangerous. No, no. I just... have to think..."

Orthal remained silent, but he could see the older kith starting to fret. he is generally a kind and insightful kith, he is prone to anxiety and fretfulnessEugene's manner changed, he began to fidget and his train of thought was off. Yet, around the time he began to wipe at his glasses, before putting them back over his eyes, the elderly kith noticed the large form of a familiar individual:

"Wait..." Eugene squinted from behind his glasses, as he looked at the elephant-kith at the back of the group. "Knows: Feldspar, as the grown-up son of an old and now-lost friendFeldspar? Is that you, lad?"

It seemed for the moment the letter was forgotten due to familiarity...

Tokens

Question/sGroup: Do we ask about Ellie's task?
Feldspar: Is that you, Feldspar?

Last edited by Humble Hero; Dec 20th, 2021 at 06:46 AM.
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Old Dec 20th, 2021, 07:58 AM
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The approach to the Ancient Workshop is interrupted by a chance encounter with Emily. Feldspar thinks that something about her is familiar, but he can't quite put his finger on it yet. For now he admired the child's easy rapport with Shamal, and chuckles a little at how Emily and Gotz seem to talk around each other rather than to each other.

They find their way to the doors of the great workshop, Emily spilling with intrigue and lore. The cacophony inside shivers Feldspar to his bones. Inside, history is given form and shape. The Haeth made manifest, all time and place trapped in a single neverending verse. Here. Here, he will find answers no map can provide. He clutches at his book of verse without looking at it.

Then a new kith emerges - Emily's grandfather. Feldspar has that same twinge of familiarity, but it doesn't lock into place until the wizened aardvark begins to scrutinise him. "... Mr Eugene?" he says faintly, unable to drop the habit of the formality in his surprise. "I ... I haven't seen you since ..."

"Year of the Mayfly, I suppose," Eugene says hesitantly. "Too long ago. That's the last time I went so far east. How is your herd?"

"... Not as it once was," he says, and is ready to add more, but something dies on his tongue and Eugene seems almost thankful to not hear any more.

"Lad, you look older than you should," Eugene says instead. "I'm older than you, but we could be kin the way you hold yourself!"

"Yes, yes, I've already been called 'old tusk' once today!" he says, looking at Orthal with good nature.

"We're only a short trek from Oldfire Lake, aren't we? If your quarry are too far gone now to chase, then we could ask the moth tower on the lakeside to send a message?" When Eugene looks hesitant, Feldspar quickly adds, "I assume they'll require something to compensate for the urgent message - I'm sure I could help cover it. I didn't lose anything on a bad barter at the Trade Meet, at least!"

Ellie, listening to the exchange, looks expectantly at her grandfather, already bouncing on the balls of her feet for a chance at redemption.

Feldspar - TokensN/A
-1 to provide a material solution to Eugene's problem.

Question/s and Answer/s
 

Group: Something about this place feels different to what we're used to. What is it?
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Old Dec 23rd, 2021, 03:39 PM
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Gotz the Poet
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"Dye? You need dye?"


Gotz takes off his backpack and rummages, pulling out the jar of honey, the saucer, the candle, and the coffee beans, all of which he'd purchased at the market. "I have the supplies to make ink, I'd just need a flower or something blue to make it a lovely navy color... oh..." The bird trails off as he notices the difference in size between his simple honey jar and the sheer number of looms and textiles within the workshop. "...ah, my apologies. I doubt I have enough supplies to accommodate your entire operation." Sheepishly, Gotz puts the items back in his pack, and looks around at the workshop rather than meet the eyes of anyone inside.

It is a lovely structure, one that has only become lovelier with age. Large, uneven, pitted stones of chalky, rain-blemished white and grey. Wooden support beams of a rich honey color stretch out from the walls and interlace, with plenty of large, open gaps to see the ceiling of the building far above. The second "floor" is more of an attic, with simple planks stretched across the support beams where one would need to walk. All many of ivy have been allowed to cultivate along the cobbled walls and wooden supports, adding an atmosphere of life to the interior.
And the windows... my, the windows! No wonder so much plant life could survive in here, with all the light that spilled in from outside. There are large wooden doors to the far end of the room, left open to the courtyard beyond, where a small farm has been cultivated for food. Weaving through the garden are swirling brick paths, cracked from rain soaking into the clay and freezing. From these cracks dandelions and other colorful sprouts pop out to seek the sunlight. The bell tower in the center of the courtyard is swaddled in even more vines, the tips of which cannot be seen from inside the building proper.


Enraptured, Gotz finally closes his journal, and does not write or draw anything. Absentmindedly, the bird walks through the open hall of looms and into the courtyard as if he owned the place - not that Eugene is interested in anything other than Feldspar at the moment - and basks in the sun. Sequestered from the rest of the world, this building had experienced a life of its own... something beyond the wants and wills of its intermittent occupancy. No, years or even decades have gone by before when the workshop was on its lonesome. Eugene and his family are simply the newest residents, and relatively recent ones at that. The way that the wind blew through the wide open doors was not unlike breath passing through the valves of a flute. It gave the building voice... but not consciousness. No, the building has possessed a mind and memories all to itself for some time. It just went unnoticed by most. Gotz wondered if the architects of ages past who had once dreamed of the workshop's existence had such lofty goals for their child of stone and mortar. He wonders if they had imagined that their creation would stand for so long, and he wonders if the workshop itself wonders such things. Was this the Teacher of the Rocks Ellie had mentioned? Or were they perhaps friends, only able to communicate in ways strange to kith? The secrets this place must hold!

"I wonder if I could persuade you to teach me some of your memories... some that belong only to you, and not to any kith on the face of this earth?" Gotz asks out loud, opening his journal again, quill in talon. He waits and listens for the next chilly breeze to blow through the courtyard. Oh please... if only this workshop were friendly and longing for someone to speak to...

Eugene"Feldspar, my boy, I couldn't ask you to..." The old aardvark trails off as he witnesses the genuine caring in the elephant's eyes, as well as the eager optimism in his own granddaughter's. Traditional politeness would dictate he decline... but Eugene also understands that in this moment, he would make the both of them happier if he accepted the good fortune and charity presented to him. Wouldn't that be more polite, in truth?

With a heavy sigh, Eugene smiles first at Ellie, then at Feldspar. "Ah, how can I refuse? May all the gods, great and small, bless you, lad. But I'm repaying you with a fine, hot meal and the softest bed you've ever slept in for your troubles, and that's final!" He turns around to fetch some money to pay the moth-tenders for their trouble, and hands it to Ellie. "Dear girl, run along with this now... and maybe take one of your siblings with you to keep an eye on you, eh?" He winks at that last little jab, more amused than annoyed by her easily-distracted mind.


To the others in the group (save Gotz, who the aardvark has barely noticed has disappeared), Eugene opens his arms wide and ushers them inside from the chill. "Come inside now, all of you. Friends of Feldspar are friends of mine. Your bags must be heavy, and your feet sore. Let's get some food in those bellies. My family and I can hardly work more until that dye comes in, regardless."

TokensNone

QuestionsGroup: This place feels different. Gotz believes it is alive in its own strange way. Perhaps it is inhabited by a minor god, or perhaps those things that are old and remote have a way of coming to life on their own... or perhaps Gotz is just a little strange. Is Gotz simply imagining things? And does Gotz receive an answer (either real or imagined)?

Group: Group introductions are in order. We already know Eugene and Ellie... who else is in the family?
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Last edited by Solid Snek; Dec 23rd, 2021 at 03:41 PM.
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Old Dec 26th, 2021, 12:31 PM
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Liam"It is both unlikely and probable in equal measure." The voice is not the wind, but it does seem to answer Gotz's question. In a fashion. "The simplest way to know memories is to be the one that has the memories. Have you tried being the building? I would like to be the building. Though... perhaps I would need to know what memories it has. You will tell me when you know, yes?"

Though the gopher's words are not immediately helpful, they aren't harmful either. He continues, "I am Liam and you are new here. You see deeper than you ought. It is like you are peering beneath our very fur – or, um, feathers. There is indeed something about this location," he says the word in a bit of a whisper, "though, if it is the building or something else, I cannot say. A small and forgotten god or a great and powerful true god? That is the curiosity of it. But something is here. Well, actually, something is everywhere here. Um, somethings are everywhere in this place."


Tobira, The Vagabond
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The Ancient Workshop is unlike any place that Tobira has been before. She is not particularly good at crafting in general, and weaving specifically, so purposefully traveling to a place like this in the past had never been a deliberate thought. The young child is also difficult for Tobira to process; she is on edge with their arrival. Every new place has this affect on her as the guilt – for the things she is sure she will do, but has not yet done – starts to gnaw at her insides. There is a small hope that her incompetence in crafting will quell the urges, but... it hasn't always. Then, the added apprehension about being around such skilled crafts-kith dulls her hope with fret.

The others she is traveling with are much more at ease, however, which adds a small bubble of calm that Tobira grasps at desperately. This is a new time and a new place, her past deeds are not yet present. Perhaps she can keep the two separate. Perhaps not. At least she is starting from a position of advantage with the two separate.

The conversation surrounding Feldspar is too familial for Tobira to feel comfortable. The only thing she can do is ruin an old reunion. Gotz, on the other hand, has managed to wander farther into the structure. Tobira follows after the poet only to find him in conversation with another kith. A gopher.

An all too familiar gopher.

Suddenly, Tobira's past is present. She is conflicted until her gaze is met by the other. He claims his name is Liam, but she knew him by a different name. His eyes do not challenge her knowledge, though. Instead, they are filled with something else. Apathy.

A weight is lifted from Tobira in that moment. Apathy is not easy, not after what they have been through, but it makes sense and it removes the past from the present. Apathy she can do.

"Hello Liam. I am Tobira." Simple. Direct. They now know each other again, but for the first time.
Tokens1


OOCFor fun, I decided to roll the dice for the kith's traits who approaches Gotz (I did it offline yesterday). The outcome dictated the fiction here. I think Witchy is fun, but it is one of those more "magical" traits, so that is just a proposal for now; if we want to change it, that is fine.
Name: Liam
Form: Gopher
Knows: Tobira, but does not acknowledge their past
Description: An older gopher, graying around the ears. Liam has traveled far and wide. He has no weaving skills, so he is – at first glance – out of place at The Ancient Workshop but he does have plenty of stories and experiences to share.
Traits: A wise kith has learned a lot from listening and moving through the world. They can always
  • Propose a path quite unlike anything that has been suggested before
  • Ask: What are your feelings on the matter?
Wise, A witchy kith is skilled at quiet and tricksy magics. They can always
  • Point out a personality flaw someone hasn't been dealing with; if correct they curse them. If they want to get rid of the curse, they are going to need to deal with the flaw
Witchy, An empty kith feels like there just isn't much left to them anymore. They can always
  • sigh and gaze blankly
  • Ask: does it matter?
Empty


QuestionsGroup: Who is the leader here? (Have we already met them, or is it someone else?)
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Last edited by Roekahs; Dec 26th, 2021 at 12:31 PM.
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Old Dec 27th, 2021, 05:12 PM
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ShamalShamal's grin evaporates as Eugene calls Ellie over and pulls her protectively behind him. He can't really blame the old aardvark for being concerned at seeing his granddaughter in the company of a motley band of wanderers, some of whom could be quite imposing until one got to know them. When it transpires that Ellie was sent out an important errand that she forgot about, Shamal's mouth drops open in dismay. This is terrible, he thinks, wishing he had some sort of solution to offer.

Thankfully, Feldspar comes to the rescue, using his knowledge of the area and spare coinage to propose a solution. Shamal gives a sigh of relief and begins rocking back and forth on his feet, unconsciously mimicking Ellie's movement. Inconveniencing himself to help others to gain a token.He was hoping to explore the workshop and get some of his clothing mended, but he feels irrationally invested in the fix the aardvarks are in and wants to see Ellie redeem herself. "Maybe I should go, too, just to be safe." He looks up at his fellow travelers, hoping someone will vouch for his reliability.
MavinLiam has scarcely been introduced to Gotz and Tobira when they hear someone calling "Is everything alright? I heard shouting and pounding at the door!" A large barred owl lurches into the room, hunched over, then draws up short upon seeing new faces. "Goodness! Strangers in the workshop!"

Eugene moves swiftly to reassure them. "They are friendly, Mavin, don't worry." He gestures towards Feldspar. "This is Feldspar, the son of an old friend of mine, and who just generously helped us with a little problem with the dye shipment."

"What sort of problem?" Mavin cranes their neck to bring their face in close to Eugene's, blinking at him.

"Just a little one that's being taken care of right now." That last bit Eugene directs over his shoulder towards Ellie. "I've just offered him and his companions some shelter, since they are weary from the road and it looks like more rain is on the way."

"Oh yes, the rain. We'll be in a pickle if we get too much more rain." Mavin straightens up and stares at the travelers. "We don't often see strangers, but we have offered shelter to such as yourselves in the past so...welcome."
Tokens✦✦
OOCThings feel a little crowded in the Workshop at the moment, so I'm proposing an experimental split into two scenes. Other PCs are welcome to join Shamal and Ellie on the trek to Oldfire Lake, and while we're at it,

Group: Which one of Ellie's siblings goes along to make sure she doesn't get sidetracked?

In the meantime, I'll keep helping with kith within the workshop.
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Old Dec 31st, 2021, 12:26 AM
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Eugene doesn't dither long on Feldspar's offer, and makes a quick decision: Ellie will go to the moth tower at Oldfire Lake. Eugene recommends one of her siblings comes along, and Ellie doesn't hesitate; she skitters into the doorway of the workshop and bellows as only a child can: "NAAAAAATE!"

Eugene sighs in good nature, as if he already knew which sibling Ellie would choose as a travelling companion and the open question were only a formality. He seems relaxed now that a problem has been solved for him by a familiar face, soothing the tension of dealing with the unfamiliar faces.

Another aardvark emerges from the workshop, short but straight-backed, and resplendent in bright colour - a magenta shirt open at the chest, sky-blue slacks with a silver trim, and a thick shawl with a pattern of alternating lilac-green, black and pale gold.

"I'm not sure the shawl matches, Nate," Eugene says flatly.

"I know," Nate says flippantly.

"But it's my favourite!" Ellie coos, dancing about her brother and stroking the shawl; Nate's flicking hands to keep Ellie from pestering him are more playful than malicious. "Nate! We're going to Oldfire," she adds.

Nate shrugs with a casual, "Sure," but a smile plays across his face in flutter of rising interest.

When Shamal offers to come along as well, Feldspar chimes in. "Good thinking, Shamal. You'd be in good company, Ellie and Nate! Shamal will lighten your load and raise your spirits." He makes a snap decision. "Actually, mind if I tag along too? I seem to have spun this trip together on whim, so seeing it through is the least I could do. Feel free to run along ahead if I'm too slow for you!" While Feldspar has been talking, the old owl Mavin has come out to inspect the commotion at the foot of the workshop, and Feldspar approaches respectfully when their initial nervousness ebbs. "Thank you. I'll help the others along and then come back if that's alright with you. We're not going too far, so perhaps we'll beat the rain if we're fortunate. The grass shall massage us as we reach for home. The wind shall carry us to warm hearth," he intones, a short snippet from a longer refrain he's put to memory. Words that feel like a hot meal in themselves. He exhales heavily, and adds, "Shall we go, then?"

Feldspar - TokensN/A

Question/s and Answer/s
OOCI'm happy to try with two scenes. I'll have Feldspar with the Oldfire group - it'll suit him to want to see his own advice through. I've also added in Ellie's elder brother as an escort.

 

Shamal: Nate knows of something 'exciting', either on the road to Oldfire Lake or at the lake itself. What might it be?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2022, 10:54 AM
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Orthal, the Exile
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Many new faces, many potential new friends.

Orthal listened as the others in the group continued to talk to the kith that appeared from within the workshop. Not usually one to engage in a lot of conversation, the large bear mostly kept to himself, something he tended to do. When Feldspar proposed a solution to the dye problem, Orthal nodded and smiled, though the expression passed quickly as another kith approached.

A gopher, seemingly from nowhere, though given the kith's nature probably some burrowing was involved. Orthal was conscious of the smaller kith's stature and remained well aware of where his feet stepped. It wouldn't do, at all, to accidentally stomp on the smaller friends - something the bear kept in mind around Shamal, too.

"Well met, Liam," Orthal said in his low, rumbling voice. "I am Orthal. And your words remind me of a saying from my home, if I may: sei ch'a tuv, vim ch'a tuv sir sei... or, in a more common tongue, everything a place, and a place for everything."

It wasn't often that Orthal brought up his home, or thoughts about it, but something about the gopher's words had brought the words out. So, instead of pushing them away like he might have, the bear had taken the chance to engage and see if the older kith might recognize the language or words.

And if not, that is perfectly okay, too.

"I will remain with the Workshop, then," Orthal said to Feldspar and Shamal, and any others that went. "Walk lightly, friends. Light is quick."

Then another kith from within the workshop appeared, and this one introduced themself as Mavin, a barred owl, and Orthal nodded in greeting.

"I am Orthal. Thank you for the offer of shelter." The large kith said, as he adjusted the equally large cloak over shoulders and body. It was big enough to hide in. "A little rain usually doesn't hurt, yet I admit that might only apply to me. And not the Ancient Workshop. There had been hopes of a tour, but if the rain is cause for concern, I'm sure our friendly band can... wait... is something the matter, Mavin?"

Orthal raised a scarred eyebrow, as he looked at the barred owl that stooped nearby...

Mavin, the barred owlWith a frown on their face, Mavin seemed perplexed. There was a moment when the owl stooped and sighed, but soon righted themself and looked to the kith that would remain at the Ancient Workshop. There was a moment of hesitation, before the owl spoke, eyes large and staring.

"I am reluctant to ask," Mavin began, feathers on their wings ruffling subconsciously at the discomfort. Nervousness came to mind. "But with the possibility of rain, we might have difficulty with... well... you see, we have large rolls of fibers resting against the workshop wall, outside."

Mavin looked up to the sky, frowned on their face.

"And I worry we might not get the heavy rolls inside, with some of our workers being on another task... might I ask for help to move them in under cover?"

Tokens

Question/sWorkshop Group: Do we try to help Mavin move the large fiber rolls of string?

Liam: Does Liam recognize Orthal's an ancient language, from far away, commonly called bear-speaklanguage?

Last edited by Humble Hero; Jan 3rd, 2022 at 10:55 AM.
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