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  #31  
Old Apr 12th, 2022, 11:15 AM
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Feldspar (Oldfire group)
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With Wish at work preparing the message and the rain subsiding, Feldspar is wary of overstaying his welcome at a dwelling that is certainly not able to accommodate a troupe of guests like this at the moment. He looks out over the thick waters of Oldfire Lake, and there's so much teeming life it feels like a world in and of itself folded into a small space. His memories of his old homeland are making him more sensitive to the abundance of life here.

In the meantime, their new companion Blue fields inquiries about the names and lights that have accompanied him - small gods, barely-remembered and lost to thought. He reveals Lilt with a proud flourish, and ...

And ...

"What was that ..." Feldspar says, a moment too late to be relevant to the conversation. Blue is talking about cloud spirits now.

Feldspar is ... enraptured. Lilt was not all there, but there was life crammed into a tiny pocket of air. Life folded in on itself, like the lake. No, not just life, a whole churning cycle of life and death. Can gods die? What does it mean for divinity to die? Surely it is not like a mundane death. Feldspar sees ... "A tunnel? Where is Lilt showing me?" He says aloud. It's a tunnel, or a window, or an impassable passage towards an unfamiliar place. Feldspar seeks where the countless small and forgotten gods are loudest and clearest. It is a hallow or a graveyard.A memory of a forgotten wasteland. Perhaps it is a place that died with Lilt. Perhaps it is a place of memorial to a dead god, a place of Creation that sympathises with the fallen gods. An old world once faded so that this world could come into being. This place that calls the small gods ... it could be a link, it could be the cradle of Creation!

Lilt, and Blue by extension, is a key. Feldspar may wander for much longer, but perhaps now there will be direction. He can't let this curious sloth out of his sight until he is sure.

He reconnects to the conversation, and new revelations lather themselves on top as Nate confesses his secret gift. An oracle of history? Carried by someone so close to the work of the Neverending Tapestry? Fascinating. And the Stormsingers are at the centre. Feldspar is wary - his people have always treated the Stormsingers as dangerous, even if the danger comes from their innocent hubris rather than any malice. This little pocket of land, from the Workshop to Oldfire and its surrounds, is more than it seems. Revelation is in bloom here.

"We should get these two back to their Workshop," Feldspar says slowly, "and Big Blue (he says with a slight smile), I hope you'll join us if you're not otherwise occupied. Were you on your way somewhere?"

"Well, if you really have to scamper so soon, don't be strangers while you're in these parts," Wish says with some disappointment.

"Of course," says Feldspar, and he means it. His time here has been too brief, but the weather is patchy and Eugene would likely prefer to see his progeny safely home at the Workshop now that the errand is complete. And Feldspar could use a rest as soon as they get back - the day is taking a toll on him, and he's conscious of needing to get the remaining travel done sooner rather than later. He'll have to go uphill to make it back! He grunts as he adjusts his clothes and stretches his legs out in preparation for the trip.

On the way back to the Workshop, he'll be quiet but contemplative, listening for something whispered in the wilderness beyond the idle conversations around him. Perhaps awaiting some clue of providence. The gods dance here - or they did and their perfume lingers in the minds of ecstatics and prophets. He has walked a long time for a miracle, a marker to show the way towards his final destination. Perhaps he has finally found something.

Feldspar - Tokens

Question/s and Answer/s
OOCAs per our OOC chat, I'm aiming towards reuniting the two groups here, without completely cutting off the current in-play RP.
 

Group: Do Liam's oracular dreams contribute to the Neverending Tapestry?
Blue: What brings you to these parts?
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  #32  
Old Apr 19th, 2022, 10:19 AM
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Shamal (Oldfire)
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Out of the corner of his eye, Shamal sees the effect his words have on Nate and his own goofy smile spreads across his face. When Nate thanks him, he tilts his head to the side to nudge Nate's and squeezes his shoulder. There might be more to say later, in private, but for now Shamal knows his words have touched Nate's heart, and that is more than enough.

Shamal watches attentively as Blue introduces Lilt, face settling into solemnity as the giant sloth explains that Lilt is dead, more of an impression than a presence. Gods, even small ones, do not live and die as people do, of course, but it is rare, at least in Shamal's experience, for dead gods to travel, rather than settle into torpor in some familiar place in hopes of rediscovery. When Blue holds his hand out, Shamal's vision goes black, but sensation remains—the specific sensation of the dance Shamal would perform on the new moon in deepest darkness, a dance of passage between life and death. He has not danced that dance in a very long time, has told himself he will never dance it again, but for a moment he feels the bittersweet ache of it. "Grateful indeed," Shamal says softly as Blue returns Lilt to his pocket.

The somber moments passes as the troupe of cloud gods make their presence felt. Prompted by Ellie, Nate explains his dreams, and has his gaze falls on Feldspar, he seems to recognize something in his expression. "I know what you're thinking," he says, mildly accusatory, "because everyone thinks it." He shuts his book firmly. "Everyone wants me to apply my dreams to the Tapestry, take over the Workshop some day." He throws his hands up in the air. "I want to make clothes! Beautiful clothes that people will wear and use and been seen in! Not a—a rug that's going to gather dust in a building no one visits."

"They wouldn't be gathering dust if you'd do your chores, young man," Ellie cuts in, doing a passable impression of Eugene. Nate groans with good-natured frustration.

The group soon begins gathering their things to return to the Workshop. As Shamal retrieves his shirt (still slightly damp), he leans in to Nate and says quietly. "You know, I sometimes draw inspiration from my dreams, and they're sometimes fascinating." He puts his arms into the sleeves and adjusts the laces at the collar. "But I don't think they're for that. They aren't for anything. They just are."

Shamal hugs Wish before leaving. "Of course I'll visit, now that I know where you are." He grins. "And I can send you letters, too." On the way back, he moderates his pace to accommodate Feldspar, idly skipping about and occasionally teasing Nate with another stanza of song about him. Not once does he allude to Nate's dreams however; that is a private snippet of the real Nate that he'd rather treasure himself.
Shamal - Tokens
Questions and AnswersOldfire Group: Answering previous questions, but posing few new ones as we move back to the Workshop to give space for Leviticus to have Blue talk about his journey.
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  #33  
Old Apr 26th, 2022, 12:50 PM
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Blue
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If Blue heard Feldspar’s reaction to Lilt, he did not immediately respond. In actuality the large sloth noticed that Feldspar said something and turned slightly toward him, but whatever it was had been drowned out by the cloud gods’ gentle laughter. In line with his character, Blue didn’t want to push his new friend on the matter. If it came up, then it was meant to be. If not, then hopefully all was well with his large companion. It was not everyday that a dead god such as Lilt made their presence known.

Energy and tension slowly drained out of Blue as the cloud gods dispersed and all seemed well with Nate. The large sloth grinned and relaxed his shoulders while looking down at his own open palms. Without realizing it, he began to entone a childhood rhyme under his breath that matched his numbered claws. Six ways to love another, six times to love your mother… He smiled for a few seconds and then grew somber, remembering. The sound of Nate shutting his book roused Blue back into the shack.

The large sloth leaned his head to the left and closed his left eye, watching the Natedreamer put words to the pressures he felt from his gift. It was not an easy world, this. Perhaps Blue might be able to help the youth in some way.

Keeping his left eye shut, “Beautiful clothes, you say?” BB held up the end of his multicolored, damp tie and straightened up where he was sitting, both eyes open now. “I could always use another, if you have a mind to make one.” Blue smiled kindly at Nate and began counting with the claws of his right hand. “And I can assure you that it will be worn, and used, and most definitely seen.” Blue allowed his tie to fall back down against his shirt and turned to listen to Feldspar.

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Originally Posted by HotsuSama View Post
"We should get these two back to their Workshop," Feldspar says slowly, "and Big Blue (he says with a slight smile), I hope you'll join us if you're not otherwise occupied. Were you on your way somewhere?"
Blue had raised up from his chair by now and was stretching his back. “Oh I am, no… we are always occupied,…” He said with a smile as he gathered up his satchel, patting it in a few places where a few other gods might reside, “...but I would very much like to see this Workshop you speak of. And of course there is the matter of a potential new piece of clothing?” Blue glanced over toward Nate for a moment with his eyebrows arched expectantly.

Turning back toward Feldspar, “We are always on our way somewhere.” Blue said with a kind smile. “Come, we’ll talk of it on the journey.

The sloth gave a warm handshake to Wish in parting. “Can’t say I’ve ever heard anything like it! This shack of yours. I hope you don’t mind me leaving the craft we came over on outside? I anticipate another will need it to reach the far shore.

It is a fine boat, and will do someone much good.” Replied Wish, shaking Blue’s hand.

Blue walked in silence for several minutes after the group had left the shack. And then he began talking to Feldspar, and anyone listening. “There are many things - sometimes small and insignificant - that still need a home and some care.” Looking down into his pocket for a moment, his voice growing soft, “And some just don’t want to say goodbye.” Something about this touched the sloth and he was silent for several of his easy strides.

I just seek to care for those that allow me to, for as long as they so choose, until they are where they want to be. There is comfort in the comforting. And they are easy company, for the most part.” Two lights of green and blue circle each other around Blue’s head for a moment before dissipating. BB grins and winks at those looking.

What of you all? Is there somewhere you are going? And what is this Workshop?


Blue - Tokens

Questions & AnswersNate: Will Nate agree to make Blue a tie?
Group: Where are you going?
Answers: Blue journeys to serve others.
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  #34  
Old May 18th, 2022, 10:22 AM
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Feldspar (Oldfire group)
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Nate is taken with the offer of making a tie for Blue. Some part of him seems suspicious, as if an open offer out of the blue like this might have strings attached. He only relents when Blue presses the point as part of the matter of travelling back to the Workshop. "Sure."

Feldspar begins the trek in silence, and is slowly spun into conversation by Blue. "So you seek new homes for your small gods? What of the ones who don't consider themselves living, like your Lilt? Where will they rest?" He pauses. "In any case, the Workshop seems a well enough place to rest yourself for a spell, if the hosts are gracious enough to allow us to return with fuller company than when we left. It's a textiles workshop, you see, mostly printing tapestries ..."

"Wall rugs!" Ellie adds helpfully.

"Heh, yes, wall rugs, " Feldspar acknowledges with a smile. "Their Neverending Tapestry is said to contain the entire history of the Haeth. I'm unsure whether this means a single roll of fabric or a collection. I'm yet to see much of it, but I hope it can illuminate my path to my promised land either way." He pauses, regarding Blue with renewed interest. "You come here with gods. I come here chasing the trails of godly words. We're in a place where a loom prints history over the next rise, and the storms tell the future. Prophecy is ... converging here, isn't it?"

They reach the fork where Feldspar nearly led them astray on the way to Oldfire Lake. Not far from their return destination now. Feldspar's eyes are drawn to the out-of-place boulder that serves as a marker of sorts for the fork, where he heard an unintelligible whisper. Ellie had remarked that it was 'like the other rocks' but hadn't elaborated.

Hmm. Nate has a kinship with the Stormsingers, but Ellie may hear whispers from the earth instead. It's almost a dichotomy - two siblings, one of sky and one of earth. But what does it mean here? Feldspar is no stranger to meddling, but this is a strange snarl of providence that he can't perceive properly yet. It means something. He just doesn't know what yet. Eugene apparently knows more, perhaps on both these matters. Feldspar has known the old aardvark to be empathetic and insightful, but this is something new.

"What do you make of this, Blue?" Feldspar asks, directing Blue to the boulder. It's dark, and jagged in parts but otherwise smooth to the touch. It's large but not suspiciously so, although its shape and colour are unusual here. The splinter from Feldspar's walking stick is still lodged at its base as a tiny tribute."I believe it whispers, but I don't hear enough of the words to be sure."

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Question/s and Answer/s
 

Blue: What say you of the strange boulder that Feldspar believes carries an unintelligible whisper?
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  #35  
Old May 31st, 2022, 10:15 AM
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Shamal (Oldfire)
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"As you say, we're always going somewhere, even if we don't know it," Shamal says as he walks alongside the others. "I don't have anywhere in particular to be, though. I'm just traveling, and I choose to travel with Orthal and Feldspar because I thought they needed someone to keep them out of trouble." There's a gleam in his eye as he clicks his heels together and flicks a tassel dangling from Feldspar's waist. In truth, Shamal is intrigued by the place Feldspar seeks, a place he knows instinctively cannot be fixed but rather must itself be traveling. Also, if he travels with Feldspar long enough, the elephant might consent to tell him more of the choreographed rituals of his people that make him so cautious about dancing.

As Feldspar grows introspective and turns his attention to the strange boulder, Shamal quickly grows bored and shifts his attention back to Nate. "I think," he says, shifting to an undertone as though they are having an important private conference, "you should make Blue a blue tie."

Nate rolls his eyes. "That's an obvious choice," he says with obvious derision.

Shamal is undeterred. "Obvious isn't a bad thing."

"It is when it's too obvious."

"Obvious is memorable. It will help people remember Blue's name if he has a blue tie to remind them. Like a little hat rack for the memory."
Shamal mimes taking a hat off and hanging it up. "Blue? Blue."

"It's childish and simple."

"Neither of those are bad things either." Shamal puts an arm around Nate's waist. "I'm not saying that's the only color you use, or that you make it solid and plain. A subtle pattern could show off what you can do, but if you make blue the main color, then it will help him stick in people's minds, and he can build the rest of his outfit around it." He bounces up and flicks Nate's ear. "And there's a lot of variety in 'blue' that you can play with."

"Hmph."
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  #36  
Old Jun 8th, 2022, 09:43 AM
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Shamal doesn't speak loud, but between the flicking and the constant movement, he's constantly within Feldspar's attention. A small flitting bubble of exuberance, countering Feldspar's notions of foreboding. He's getting too serious. Perhaps the fortunes of kith and kin are meeting here in a slurry of providence and prophecy. Perhaps. But Feldspar won't puzzle it out by staring at a rock ... or by worrying himself into becoming an inert boulder on the side of the road over matters he can't pretend to understand yet.

"I'm in a spin about all this," he finally snaps impatiently. "Storms and whispers. Small gods casting long shadows. And chasing shadows is never the way to peace, is it?" He sighs. "Shamal, I need you for a moment. My knees are old, but I can do this much. It needs a partner."

Feldspar's movements are slow. The hands quiver, from anxiety more than age. Whatever goes on in Feldspar's mind as he slowly demonstrates the moves for a simple, stomping ritual dance is inscrutable. "This is ... for offering oneself to fortune and fate. For submitting to the greater powers of the gods. It's the simplest ritual from my people. We danced it a lot, once. We required fortune's favour often in order to survive." He stops, and looks at Shamal. "But it can't be done alone."

Feldspar begins the dance in earnest, faster, limbs fluid from muscle memory. Years melt off Feldspar's frame as he stomps and spins on the spot, a small rumbling hum escaping from his mouth.

And then it's over. And Feldspar mumbles something that may be a thank-you, but he meets no one's eye. He only shuffles forward, suddenly eager to get back to the workshop as soon as possible.

Feldspar - TokensN/A
-1 for offering Shamal the chance to connect with you on a personal level.

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Old Jun 8th, 2022, 02:15 PM
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Shamal jumps at the sudden noise from Feldspar cutting through his playful "argument" with Nate, but his surprise quickly flows into excitement as Feldspar calls him over for what can only be a dance. Practically vibrating with excitement, Shamal positions himself facing Feldspar and begins to mirror the steps as the elephant demonstrates them. His motions are halting at first. The steps are unfamiliar, and Feldspar's inscrutable expression tells him nothing about the emotion behind the dance, the meaning conveyed by the stomps and scrapes. Then Feldspar begins to explain the purpose and meaning behind the dance, and Shamal's eyes widen with recognition as things begin to fall into place.

Stomp out your frustrations, your worries, your fears into the ground. Spin, throwing up your arms to release that tension outwards. Genuflect, because fortune's favor can only be begged, not demanded. Reset to face the next day's troubles when they occur.

By the time Feldspar begins in earnest, Shamal's motions are nearly as fluid, and while he has only a fraction of Feldspar's mass, he infuses his stomps with the same gravity as he offers himself to fortune and fate. He takes up the melody of Feldspar's hum, albeit two octaves higher, the motions of the dance telling him where the tune should go. Feldspar can't seem to meet Shamal's eyes, but Shamal sees something there regardless as the two dance in unison. Struggle, persistence, longing. Shamal's motions subtly shift as he adds an additional emotion to the mix; Open your arms to wish your partner peace.

The ending is sudden but natural. The dance has done its work and can be put away until it is needed again, as it must be. One cannot dance all the time. Ellie is suddenly moving towards Feldspar, and Shamal knows that this is not the time, that Feldspar needs to return to his own thoughts for a time before he can deal with cheerful exuberance again, so Shamal quickly moves to intercept, reed flute sliding into his hands. "Ellie, have you ever heard this kind of flute before?" He leans forward. "Would you like to try to play it?"

Soon Shamal has Ellie buzzing her lips and pressing the holes in the flute as he plays to hear the changes in pitch—all at a safe remove from both Feldspar and Nate to allow them the ability to hear their own thoughts. By the time the group returns to the workshop, Ellie has learned how to play a simple lullaby, Nate has had a chance to sort through his ideas about Blue's tie, and Shamal's cheeks are sore from so much smiling.
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Old Jun 11th, 2022, 01:24 AM
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Feldspar is simultaneously lighter and heavier on the final leg back to the workshop. That dance has not entered his memory for ... how many years now? He feels looser, freer from having performed the little ritual, but it has dragged so much back for him that he thought he left behind.

But it would never do for him to remain melancholy. Every kith and kin has their burden to bear, especially when the horrible times of war and strife are still fresh for many. This is peace. His mind should be at peace as well, as best as it can be.

The workshop looms ahead. The grass is slick with fresh rain, and the whirring of the workshop's looms sounds like a buggy song. There's the bell tower, the stone walls, the ancient wooden gate, currently ajar. The small courtyard, where ... hmm. Where a roll of flax has been half-buried in the softened dirt.

Nate stares at the burial. "Mavin's not going to like this."

"Of course they didn't, but the lack of appreciation hurts more," Liam's voice rings out from a corner of the courtyard. "Referring to GotzHere is a wonderful partner for pluming the depths of meaning. I hope he stays."

"Can it still be used?" Ellie asks.

Liam tilts his head. "Does it matter?"

Ellie thinks on that. "Mavin would say yes. But maybe not." She turns to Shamal, her attention already shifting. "So, can I keep this flute, please? I think I could learnt to play all of grandfather's songs by the Sun Parade."

"Is that you, Ellie? Is it done?" Eugene's voice calls from an open doorway, and the aardvark's head pokes out briefly as he sweeps clods of dirt back out into the courtyard.

"We did it," Nate answers for Ellie, who is still focused on the flute.

Eugene nods in satisfaction and shuffles back through the doorway. Feldspar follows, opening the doorway wider. It's a disused room, but dirt has been tracked in here recently; by the paw and claw prints, it looks like Gotz and Orthal at the very least were admiring the exotic tapestries hanging here.

"Your bear friend apparently left rather aburptly after viewing this work here," Eugene says, using his broom to point to an elaborate tapestry featuring bear-folk and ancient speech. "Hearing about it reminded me that there are many unsorted works here. I can't remember if they were ever meant to be segments of the Eternal Tapestry ... they are older works, and they speak of ancient and esoteric things. Maybe they were ruled to be incomplete or imperfect history. In any case, they can be reviewed ... or traded, if necessary. We're running out of room in the main workshop." He sighs, turning the broom over in his hands. "But you're not all here to listen to me remark on our logistical issues. You've already done me a favour for our supply issued, and for that I thank you all. Please feel free to stay, we have ample food from our foraging and modest gardens. Gotz and Tobira have already moved to the main hall, you should be able to find them easy enough if you decide to see the main loom-work for yourselves."

Feldspar peers at the old aardvark; older than he looks, in fact. A font of experience, if not wisdom. And there are many mysteries simmering underneath the land these days. "Where does the history come from? You can't know all these things, not even from travellers. Are they whispered to you?"

"Now you ask the questions that brought me here," Liam calls from the doorway. His grey whispers twitch - the conversation seems to have sparked a fresh light in him.

Feldspar - TokensN/A

Question/s and Answer/s
Shamal: Where does the workshop find inspiration? Is it the same as Ellie's 'teacher'? And does the enigmatic Liam agree with Eugene's response?

OOCOkay, so a loaded question. Feldspar is implying that the 'teacher in the rocks' may whisper truths to the workshop as well as part of its collated history. Eugene may confirm or deny this, and either way he could shed truth on the nature of the 'teacher'. Liam is there as an extra wild card if you wish to have fun with that too
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Old Jun 15th, 2022, 02:05 PM
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Standing alongside Nate, Shamal too stares at the half-buried roll of flax. That seems less than good. In fact, it seems outright bad. There's a brief flash of regret at the fact that he wasn't here to help do whatever was supposed to happen. But if he hadn't gone on the errand, a lot of good things wouldn't have happened—Flirting with Nate, meeting up with Wish, learning Feldspar's dance, teaching Ellie the reed flute—so he has a hard time sustaining that regret. If only there were more than one of him.

Speaking of the flute, Ellie asking for Shamal's reed flute brings another surge of conflicted emotions. He hadn't thought ahead when he started teaching Ellie how to play it; he had just been looking for a way to keep her from pestering Feldspar while the elephant was in an introspective mood. It's no ordinary flute he taught her on either, but one Shamal personally snatched from the North Wind God himself. But what good is it to teach her how to play an instrument if he's not going to put one into her hands? Without practice, she'll soon forget the basics he just taught her and have to start again from scratch later, if she even gets another opportunity. "Sure, Ellie," he says, ruffling the fur on top of her head. If he's being honest, it helps that she reminds him a bit of his friend Marcy. "Keep it as a gift from me." Monsoon would be here soon enough, and with it the North Wind. Shamal knows how to make another one. "If you're having trouble with your grandfather's songs, come find me and I'll help. I'll most likely be hovering over Nate's shoulder." He directs a mischievous look at the other aardvark. "I want to see how he turns passion to action."

Shamal follows along with the group back into the workshop, attention mostly on Nate and Ellie, ears perking up at mention of Orthal. "He left?" he asks, concerned. "I hope it's nothing too serious." Shamal is going to miss playing alongside the bear's horn, to say nothing of Orthal's greater experience traveling. Feldspar and Blue seem to know the land well enough to help him get by, though. "Your offering of hospitality is most appreciated," he follows up, promptly becoming distracted by the possibilities opened up by an invitation to sleep under the same roof as Nate.

Eugene presses his lips together at Feldspar's question, clearly wrestling internally with how to answer it. His turmoil only increases at Liam's sudden appearance and interest in the subject. "Being so close to a moth tower has its advantages in learning about happenings across Haeth," he says carefully. "Of course, to be considered accurate, an account has to be verified, so it is good to have multiple sources—"

"You mean like Nate's dreams and the Teacher in the Rocks," Ellie breaks in suddenly, still playing with her new flute.

Eugene directs his gaze skyward and closes his eyes, as though beseeching the gods to grant him strength. "—and important to protect them."
Shamal (Tokens)
+1 for giving away something he holds dear
Question/s and Answer/sFeldspar: However much Eugene wants to play it cautiously, kids have a way of giving away secrets at inconvenient times. What will Feldspar—or Liam—do with this apparent confirmation of mystical sources for the workshop's history-keeping?
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Old Jun 21st, 2022, 12:36 AM
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The silence hangs heavy in the room. Eugene waits warily, knowing a conversation has been started that will not be stopped. So he waits - perhaps hoping a small concession will allow him to satisfy his guests' curiosity.

"The Teacher in the Rocks doesn't tell you what to put into the tapestry? It only confirms and verifies?" Feldspar asks at length. "And it never asks for anything in return?"

"It confirms information, and fills in blanks where what we hear isn't sufficient." He pauses. "It's said that in the early days of the Workshop, it would ask for favours in return. Special works." Eugene gestures around him, to the esoteric tapestries - including the bear-speak artistry that drove Orthal on a nameless errand. "But it has been a long time since such a thing has happened, and we now doubt whether it ever really did. Why stop? We don't know the meaning of what we've created here. Rather than believe old rumours, I believe they are discarded pieces of the Neverending Tapestry - patches of secret history, known only to few ..."

"Or they may be prophecy," Liam offers in an ominous whisper. "You are fools. You covet the Neverending Tapestry, when it's worthless. History no one regards, the punchline to jokes no one tells anymore. The real prize of the workshop is here, and you bury it in gloom and dust."

"What is better: knowledge without wisdom, or wisdom without knowledge?" Eugene barks back, showing an irritable brashness not seen in him beforehand. "The Neverending Tapestry offers all the knowledge on the Haeth you could need, and the means to divine our own wisdom on what has passed. These works are wisdom without context, without the underpinning knowledge requires for understanding, which makes them worthless to us. They have no place within the Tapestry."

Feldspar has a spark of revelation. "Eugene, old friend, I have a challenge for you. The Neverending Tapestry contains the history of the whole Haeth, yes? Even those things not always recounted through the moth towers? Then show us the place on the Tapestry that details the Teacher on the Rocks. Their origin, their story, the spark from which these works spring from. If it's truly a Neverending Tapestry, it must track the small gods who call this the Haeth home, as much as it does the kith and kin." He huffs through his trunk. "Or else your Neverending Tapestry truly is worthless. It's incomplete, perhaps even lies by omission, and the Teacher is complicit."

Eugene regards Feldspar with fresh scrutiny. His first response is simply, "Lad, I was beginning to wonder when you might remind me of your father."

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Question/s and Answer/s
 

Shamal or Blue: What will the Neverending Tapestry say of the enigmatic Teacher in the Rocks, if anything?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2022, 12:39 PM
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The WorkshopThe thing about history is that there's a lot of it. While the use of the definitive article for "The Neverending Tapestry" conjures up images of a grand, singular piece of weave-work, there are physical limitations that have to be respected, both in terms of the size of the looms and what weight linen thread can bear. The travelers had already seen this reflected in the individual tapestries on display in the main halls, but that was only the beginning. The full extent of the situation only dawns on the travelers as Eugene leads them to a huge storeroom filled with rolls upon rolls of weaving, stacked up to the ceiling in sturdy cedar shelves, each shelf bearing a faded—but thankfully still legible—label indicating the era and location covered by the tapestries it bears.

The room is dark and filled with a pungent scent, sweet and medicinal at the same time. One could almost believe they were entering some wealthy kith's boudoir, or else a mortuary. Eugene lights and hands out enclosed lanterns. "Fire is obviously a concern, so be wary of where you place your lantern, and under no circumstances should you remove the cover in the storeroom. Leave the storeroom if you need to relight them." He points out strategically placed buckets of sand positioned throughout the storerooms should there be any signs of fire escaping its confines. "I do not know exactly where the Teacher might be found in the tapestries, but I would look to the history of the local area—"

"—or else in the unsorted, 'worthless' pieces," Liam cuts in, eyes narrow, suspicious of Eugene's attempts to steer their efforts.

"If you like," Eugene responds with a weary look. For a moment, the family resemblance to Nate is palpable.

The kith move tapestries, two and a time, out of the storeroom to where there's better light and room to unroll them, and begin searching through them for signs of the Teacher, Liam focusing on the discarded or incorporated pieces, while Eugene looks through tapestries marking the early days of the workshop. Shamal tries to help at first, but his short stature makes him less than effective at carrying tapestries, and his short attention span makes him easily distractable from the task of deciphering the visual language of the ancient tapestries. His mind soon wanders, and with it, his feet. He goes to pester Nate, who has withdrawn to his room to work on a tie for Blue ("You've gotten out blue fabric, I see," Shamal says. "Hmph," Nate says). He goes to the main work hall, improvising a dance to the rhythm of the looms and looking at the histories currently taking shape. He goes outside with Ellie to help her practice the flute, asking questions about Eugene's favorite songs and improvising lyrics to the ones Ellie doesn't know the words to. Get a token when you pause for a moment and rest.He sits against the outside wall of the workshop and dozes.

The sun has dipped lower in the sky when Mavin bustles into the room where the kith are studying the old tapestries. "Is everything okay?" They ask frantically. "Have moths gotten at the tapestries? Is mold growing? Did someone forget to replace the camphor?" Their head darts back and forth on their shoulders as they looked for signs of damage.

"Everything is fine, Mavin," Eugene reassures them. "These two raised some questions of philosophical and historiographical import, so we are looking for answers in the old tapestries."

"Oh," Mavin says. "Well that's fine then." Their tone of voice does not convey the sense that things are fine. "Just be sure to replace them back in the proper places and ensure the mothballs are still—don't bring that anywhere near the tapestries!"

"Sorry!" Shamal has wandered back in with a tray laden with food balanced on his head. "I was just counting steps around the outside of the workshop—I didn't realize how big this place is! There must be a lot of storerooms—when I realized I was hungry, and I thought if I was hungry then everyone else would be too, since they've been working so hard." The tray tips toward one side and Shamal leans to keep it balanced without breaking his line of thought, impervious to Mavin's staring. "So I had Ellie show me where the kitchen is and the nice cook—Bruce, but you know that—helped me rustle up some cheese and bread and honey and—" Enough people besides Mavin are now staring at him that it finally penetrates his awareness "—and I'll just set this over here for whoever wants some."

After carefully depositing the tray of food on the floor in a corner, Shamal steps over to the tapestry currently under review by Eugene and Feldspar. "What's that?" he asks, pointing to a figure depicted on the border of the tapestry, outside of the main scene. It looks like an amalgam of a fox and a moth, wings and insectoid head on a ginger vulpine body. "I didn't see anything like that on the tapestries being worked on right now."

"Oh, marginalia," Mavin says, hunching over the tapestry from behind Shamal. "There are a few recurring figures that used to show up here and there around the borders." They gesture with a wing towards another one, a milky-eyed raven with a flat furry tail like a beaver's, perched on a rock. "Spend a token in order to know something important about the place you're in and tell the group what it is.That sort of thing gradually stopped as the workshop expanded and took on more and more weavers and looms."

Eugene starts and looks up. "It was in that same period that the special works became less and less common." He gives Feldspar a significant look and begins scanning the tapestry for more examples. "Look here, that foxmoth again, recumbent on a rock." His eyes flit back and forth between the different images. "The same rock. Every time." He continues scanning over the unrolled tapestries.

Liam, oddly enough, takes little notice of this, continuing to scan through his own tapestry. It occurs to Shamal that, as he's wandered in and out of the hall, he's seen Liam moving through a lot more tapestries than the others, and always skimming quickly, rather than carefully going through each thread and image. Spend a token in order to reveal something hidden about the person in front of you and ask them what it is.Shamal tilts his head as he looks at him. "You're not actually all that interested in the Teacher, are you?" He moves over to look at the same tapestry as Liam. "You're looking for something else. Something in particular. What is it?"
Shamal - TokensN/A
+1 for resting, -2 for knowing things.
Question/s and Answer/sAnswer: The Neverending Tapestry links the Teacher Who Lives Within the Rocks to these fanciful figures. Now that a particular rock motif has been found, it should be possible to find its origin in the tapestry.

Question: What are those figures, and what does this ultimately say about the Teacher?
Question: What is Liam actually looking for in the tapestries deemed unsuitable for inclusion in the Neverending Tapestry?
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Old Jun 29th, 2022, 12:03 AM
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Liam doesn't answer at first. The only sound in the dim room is the occasional creak from the wind outside, and Ellie in the corner practising saying 'historiographical'.

"I'm not here," Liam says through gritted teeth. No one asks him to elaborate, and even Liam can't stand the heavy silence. "I'm not here," he repeats. "A whole phase of my life, and the warp and weft of your precious tome doesn't see fit to recount it properly."

"Do you mean it doesn't mention you at all?" Feldspar says slowly.

"Of course it mentions me!" Liam snaps, before sinking back into his usual blank-eyed pallour. "It states me but doesn't know me. The workshop collects 'details' from afar, and from its precious spirit guide, and doesn't see fit to commit it to thought and contemplation. Only to fabric. I hold a scroll of regurgitation! Washed and strained again and again until it's made palatable. Truth wrung dry."

He roughly grabs one of the 'esoteric' tapestries brought in from the display hall. This one has a circle of various figures, and again the foxmoth is there. And the water-raven. And others: a snake with spider's legs, a scaled parrot, a mole with mantis arms. All upon rocks, all meeting around the margins, with a boundless landscape in the middle. In one corner, a blank space. No ... a patch re-woven. One figure is missing. Omitted, or forgotten.

"Which of these is your Teacher?" Liam asks as an open question. "Perhaps all of them, congregating with the history of the Haeth. Perhaps the one who has not attended this meeting. See how often they sign themselves upon your other works? Do you even know them? Do you question their existence or their aims at all?" Mavin edges closer, agape, but Liam speaks again before they can respond. "Of course you haven't. For all your forays across the lands to gather facts and stories, you drag everything here to rot. Cocoons are for metamorphosis, not for stasis."

Feldspar finally loses patience. "You just love the sound of your own voice, Liam! Respect the same love these people have for their craft."

"Craft." Liam scratches at his whiskers. "Yes. Craft. A process of creation and refinement. And improvement." Without warning, Liam lunges across and snatches the closest lantern, ripping it open and tossing it at the tapestry depicting the circle of small-god figures. Mavin and Eugene are close enough to stop him, make matters worse through inactionbut they are paralysed by incredulity - who would do such a thing? Liam would. "Look!" Liam says in exhultation. "The true craft reveals itself! My days in the Violet Wood, the things I saw in The Shrike's Valley, they are here, hidden under superfluity! I know it! This is the penmanship of your Teacher!"

Feldspar sees it. The tapestry ... changes. The colours shift as the fire sweeps across it, almost like a cleansing water. "I see ..." he says in wonder. And then the image is gone, and the fire reverts to an agent of destruction.

"No!" Mavin finally reacts, hurling a bucket of sand onto the tapestry. They turn with rage upon Liam, who has seized another lantern. "You are not welcome here anymore!"

"I'm afraid it doesn't matter. I'll burn it all, and we'll all read a better truth in the ashes," says Liam. "Prophecy cannot be caged."

He throws the lantern.

Feldspar - Tokens
+1 to take a moment to marvel in something new.

OOC, Question/s and Answer/sAnswers:
What are those figures, and what does this ultimately say about the Teacher? One depiction of them together strongly implies the Teacher is a collective of small gods rather than a single entity. But one is missing from the depiction.
What is Liam actually looking for in the tapestries deemed unsuitable for inclusion in the Neverending Tapestry? He seeks his own history, a true account - he considered the Tapestry a 'white-washed' chronicle devoid of truth and wisdom. And he's willing to take drastic measures to find what he's looking for.

Question: Describe the illustration that appeared before the flame consumed the tapestry.
Question: How much damage does Liam cause to the tapestries, or indeed, the workshop? Or is the potential fire stopped before it can do any harm?

So, I know I'm going overboard with Liam waxing lyrical, but ... well, we wanted drama, and Liam's bringing a lantern-ful of it.
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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 11:07 PM
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ShamalShamal takes an involuntary step back as Liam snaps and launches into his tirade. He's not able to follow what Liam is talking about very well, the speed and elevated language blurring together, but he can tell that Liam is angry, and that it has something to do with being forgotten or misremembered. That is a pain Shamal can understand, but it doesn't seem fair to vent it at Feldspar and the Workshop people. Lots of people were left out of the Tapestry. There's no way that couldn't be true. Does Liam think he's so important that he should be included when they aren't? Shamal's eyes are drawn to the landscape Liam holds up, surrounded by the unusual figures. Even one of them was left out.

Like Mavin and Eugene, Shamal is too distracted and unprepared for Liam's sudden turn toward reckless burning to respond in time. Mouth agape, Shamal stares as the fire spreads across the tapestry. Underneath the licking flames, he sees an image in four sections. Two of them might be the locations Liam is crowing about—the Violet Wood and the Shrike Valley—but Shamal's eyes are drawn towards the inner borders separating the corners, which meet at a circle in the middle. No, not a circle; a henge—Wish taught Shamal the proper word for the earthwork—filled with stones like the ones the Teachers perch on. He can't tell whether they are marking a boundary or marking graves. Both are possible.

The fire consumes, landscapes turning to thunderclouds turning to blackened, twisted fiber, buried in sand as Mavin smothers the flames before they can spread further. Shamal's fingers are digging into his cheeks. Seeing all that work destroyed is like watching a hostile crowd crush the spirit of a performer.

Liam is still talking, and it doesn't sound like he's calming down. Far from it, he's emboldened by the fact that his act of destruction revealed something. Shamal looks up. It's too late to stop him from picking up another lantern, but with Liam's talk about "burning it all," Shamal knows exactly where he's going to throw it. He crouches and points his feet in the right direction, and sure enough, Liam throws the lantern towards the storeroom, full of dry wood and flammable chemicals intended to keep hungry insects away from the all-too burnable tapestries. Shamal leaps after the lantern with every ounce of his strength, powerful legs throwing him into the air like a flash of furry lightning. His position forces him to follow the lantern's trajectory towards the store room. Reaching out with his hands, Shamal grasps the lantern and pulls it towards him, cradling it against his body as he twists in the air to ensure the lantern doesn't strike a hard surface, shatter, and spill its flames out anyway. Gain a token when you inconvenience yourself to help someone.Shamal hits the shelf opposite the entrance back-first, the impact forcing the air out of him in a gasp of pain as the lantern he is clutching to his torso cracks, glass slicing through his shirt over his ribs. Spend a token to provide a solution for an aspect of a material or immediate problemBut the fire stays contained.

Ellie screams and runs towards Shamal, Eugene following after her. Mavin, on the other hand, is seeing red and focused solely on Liam. Feathers puffed out, they box in the gopher with their wings, blocking him from reaching for any of the other lanterns. "Out!" they shriek, while not leaving him many other options.

"I see you're not ready to pay the price of prophecy," Liam says. His words are defiant, but a quaver of fear betrays his unease at facing down a large, enraged owl. He takes a step back, and Mavin kicks a taloned foot into the space he was just standing in. "I can find my answers elsewhere," he shouts as he turns and runs, Mavin in hot pursuit.

In the storeroom, Eugene nudges Ellie out of the way so he can check on Shamal. Gently prying the broken lantern from Shamal's grip, he finds a thin ribbon of blood staining his shirt, but the cut is shallow and clean. "Well, I think your shirt will need stitches," Eugene says, "and we should get some honey on that cut to ward off infection, but you'll be alright. How do you feel?"

"I've botched jumps worse than that," Shamal says hoarsely. "Glad I didn't miss this one."
Shamal - TokensN/A
+1 for "inconveniencing" himself, -1 to provide a solution
Questions and AnswersAnswer: The image seems to point towards the goal of Feldspar's pilgrimage. Perhaps there are more answers in the Violet Wood or the Shrike's Valley?
Answer: The potential fire is stopped before it can do any harm, though Shamal's going to be feeling the consequences.
Question: What happens with Mavin chasing Liam out?
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Old Jul 8th, 2022, 11:49 PM
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Did the small gods once travel as we do?

Feldspar is still digesting the flash of an image seen in the burning fabric. An ancient wood, a grey-skied valley? One location may look a little like Oldfire Lake and its surrounds, the domain of the workshop? The fourth ... it's too late to make out. And in the middle, a commune point for little gods. A gathering point, perhaps a circle to share stories. What kind of stories? Travel sagas, oral narratives, funeral dirges? Too much conjecture. But so much meaning to be discovered. The place Feldspar seeks may be a similar site. Or perhaps it is where such gods have been laid to rest.

Too much conjecture. It can wait.

"Shamal!" Feldspar barks, and watches as Eugene inspects the wound the dancer took while saving the tapestries from incineration. Ellie has already skittered off and has come back with honey to help dress the wound. Shamal had acted when everyone else had been frozen with the sheer whiplash of Liam's frustrated outburst. And now Mavin lurches back in, stiff and agitated in their own outrage. They inspect the ruined pile of smouldering weave and sand that was once a tapestry containing a curious secret.

Mavin snaps their head to Feldspar and Shamal, clearly unsympathetic to Shamal's injury. Then they take a deep breath and try to relax. "Is everyone okay?"

"Shamal saved the workshop," Nate offers quietly.

"Yes, and we owe our thanks. But ... Be that as it may," Mavin clucks in forceful articulate tones, "opening this room up to travellers appears to have been a mistake. Liam has left without further issue, for all his windbag protests. You two," they say, gesturing to Feldspar and Shamal, "are welcome to stay the night, as we promised, and we'll ensure Shamal is given any care he needs. We will also provision you for your departure tomorrow as a way of saying thanks."

Feldspar is about to vent his own frustration; Mavin's clearly trying to split the difference between being hospitable and pushing their guests out the door. Eugene shakes his head almost imperceptibly. Any bold spark in the old aardvark brought alight by investigating the ancient tapestries is gone. Feldspar remains silent. The whir of the looms is the only noise in the room.



It's barely past first light. Mavin has been a good, proper host right from the first respectable moment of the morning. The broth was filling, the tea surprisingly flavoursome and the bunks ... were good enough. Feldspar can almost hear the mounting relief that those involved in the Tapestry Incident will be over the rise soon. Will the other guests here be moved on as well in such a fashion? Tobira, Gotz, Blue ... he has only said brief goodbyes to them between the altercation with the tapestries and now, too brief for fellow travellers however fleeting.

"Don't keep any sour thoughts for Mavin, old friend," Eugene says as he comes out of the main workroom to see Feldspar off in the courtyard. "They love this place, and it's just been given a wound. You aren't sharing responsibility, but perhaps you're a reminder of an unwise decision."

"Is that Mavin's reasoning, of yours?" Feldspar grumbles.

Eugene sighs. "I was imprudent, yes. And Liam's ... unconventional ways didn't come entirely out of nowhere. But I'm pleased you got the opportunity to find some wisdom, however fleeting the source was."

"Speaking of sources ..." Feldspar says slowly. "The Teacher is not what it once was. Did you see that? One of the congregation went missing long ago, patched over as if dead or forgotten. I believe that one small god was the one who voiced commissions for your 'prophetic' tapestries." He pauses. "Your Teacher is a collective voice. But for a long time now, the voice has been fading, hasn't it? Even gods move on, or die, or lose interest. How many are left now? How many can still hear the whisper, aside from Ellie?"

Eugene wrinkles his brow. Maybe he's had the same thoughts himself, articulate or otherwise.

"Nothing is eternal, Eugene. Not even the Neverending Tapestry. No matter how much Mavin wants it to be."

"We still have the moth tower, Feldspar. Have you always thought in absolutes? If the Teacher is truly fading, then we will adapt. Even Mavin isn't that rigid." He scratches his chin. "But pray it doesn't happen in our lifetimes, for Mavin's sake."

They share a laugh over that.

"I hope you find what you're looking for, lad," Eugene says as a farewell. "And if you ever see your old herd again, please give my regards to them all. I spent quite a pleasant time of my life out in those eastern ranges."

They clasp hands, and Eugene steps back but loiters near the door, Ellie and Nate watching nearby. Feldspar stretches in preparation for the walk. "Shamal," he says to his travelling friend as they begin to set off, "If you don't mind the slower pace I'd love the company for a while longer. Maybe we can stop by your friend Wish on the way out and make sure his house hasn't fallen down yet!"

Feldspar - TokensN/A
-1 to know something important about the place you’re in, and tell the group about it.

OOC, Question/s and Answer/sAnswers:
What happens with Mavin chasing Liam out? Liam vanishes, and Mavin's hospitality is tested. Feldspar and Shamal are suggested it's best to leave first thing in the morning.

Sorry it's a little wordy, even soft endings are hard. No questions here. This isn't the 'end' of the thread, but it's an attempt to wrap up the narrative here so we can move on to our Monsoon adventure.
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Old Jul 12th, 2022, 11:37 AM
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Whether because she made a detour to tell him what was going on, or because he heard the commotion and felt compelled to investigate, Nate is right on Ellie's heels. Shamal's heart swells to see him, a broad smile growing on his face marred by a slight wince from the injury. "Did you come running because you were worried about me?" he asks, all saucy sincerity. "You're sweeter than that honey." He pats the ground next to him to invite the now-blushing aardvark to sit down. Shamal's fingers slip in between Nate's, squeezing his hand as Eugene dabs the cut clean with a damp cloth before slathering honey on it. Eugene raises an eyebrow at this, but he's too discreet to comment on his grandson's affections in front of him.

When Nate points out that Shamal saved the workshop, Shamal looks over at him with a grin and another squeeze of the hand, but also a slight shaking of the head. "Would you walk me to your infirmary so I can get this bandaged, Nate?" Eugene hovers fretfully, but eventually assents to allow the two to leave so he can keep an eye on Mavin and Feldspar. Shamal leans into Nate a bit more than is strictly necessary as they walk, still holding Nate's hand, and waits until they are out of earshot of the others before saying, "We intruded here, and I helped control the damage from that; I don't want any special treatment for that, and I definitely don't want you to feel obligated to me." He rubs his thumb over the back of Nate's hand and nudges him with his hip playfully. "I never intended to stay here long anyway. This gives me an excuse to leave before Ellie practicing on the flute I gave her rouses an angry mob against me."

Nate looks unhappy and unconvinced by Shamal's flippancy. "Even so—"

"But." Shamal stops and turns to look into Nate's eyes. "I am not too proud to be doted on by a handsome aardvark out of sympathy for my injury." He reaches up with his other hand and touches Nate's cheek. "And if I'm not mistaken and you find me handsome as well, then I think we should make the most of the time before I leave, starting with a kiss." Shamal rises onto his toes as Nate leans in.

A ram rounds the corner, spots the two of them, and abruptly turns on his heel and heads back the way he came. Neither Shamal nor Nate even notice.

Shamal never made it back to the bunks last night, but he meets up with Feldspar again at breakfast, looking pleasantly rumpled and well-pleased with himself. He chats with Feldspar as he helps himself to broth and tea, discussing the weather and provisions and evading any questions or insinuations about what he got up to last night. He makes his own goodbyes to their fellow travelers after, reminding Blue that they're friends now and that he wants to see whatever Nate comes up with for his tie the next time they meet.

As Eugene discusses the future of the workshop with Feldspar, Nate and Ellie see Shamal off. Shamal gives Ellie a big hug, lifting her up in the air and spinning to make her giggle, and gives her a few last minute tips on the flute. "Make sure to practice outside at first, so the North Wind God can hear you—" And hopefully so the other residents of the workshop cannot. "—and stick with it. The next time I come through here, I expect you to perform a full repertoire for me."

Nate gives Shamal a length of ribbon, deep green, and Shamal stares at it, blushing, before tying it around his neck with a bow. Shamal pops up onto his toes to kiss Nate's cheek before rummaging through his pack, bringing out one of the pink ribbons he got at the Trade Meet and tying it around Nate's wrist. "One of these days, I'm going to need a new costume for a performance, and I can think of no other kith in the Haeth that I could entrust with such a commission." He grins at Nate. "So don't even think about giving up on tailoring."

Shamal gives each of the aardvarks one last hug—Eugene included—before falling into step next to Feldspar. "Of course I'll travel with you!" he says. "I think a more leisurely pace would do me good." The spring in his step belies his words as he begins to whistle a jaunty tune.
Shamal - Tokens
+1 for speaking his true feelings on a subject.
OOCJust one more post to put a bow on things, so to speak. I think this is a good place to close the thread
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