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[O]  While We're Young

Offline Marina May 18 2020, 11:45 PM
#1
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 23
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Human
  • Rank: Civilian
  • Total Posts: 3
  • Played by: Lavarift
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Sometimes, Marina felt like the weight of the world could be lifted by one, breathy sigh. The sun was starting to beat down against her as she shifted between the merchant stalls of the marketplace, and she absorbed it all like a lizard, thriving in the dry heat with her floaty, light linens. She raked her fingers through her hair, pushing some stray curls off of her forehead only for them to settle right back in place again. Her mother had written her a list of things to buy out at the marketplace on the tiniest scrap of paper possible in her chicken scratch, and the bad penmenship always made Marina a little huffy. She knew she was the only child (of the two of them) old enough to go out to the marketplace on her own, but she knew, nagging in the back of her mind, that if she were in Stadarfell already, she wouldn’t have to be doing this at all.

In time, Marina, in time.

One of both her favorite and least favorite parts of the marketplace was how chaotic it was, with a wide assortment of stalls in each column and row. Baked goods into cloths into scraps of metal into furs then spices, there was something new to see at each turn, which kept Marina’s mind entertained but completely scattered. The vibrant colors and buzz were what made Kheim feel like home, the home that she had lived in for all of her twenty-three years, but sometimes this disorganized marketplace made her feel like she could go somewhere bigger, better? This small bit of concentrated hustle and bustle had to be the least of it, certainly.

Luckily she was something of her mother’s errand wench for a few years now and the lists were more or less the same over a period of time. Marina knew exactly where to go. She had familiarized herself with certain shopkeeps, especially which ones she could easily flirt with to bargain down prices, and she looked at the first item, reading it quietly to herself.

Grain, flint, clay.” She scanned the rest of the mostly familiar list silently. Her mother was skilled with her hands, crafting different foods and pieces for their household as a hobby as much as out of necessity. Marina had tried to mimic some of that, hoping she had inherited the gift, but found that all of the skill had been passed to her younger brother Vidal instead. The brat could already make better meals than Marina could ever hope to, and she was often left to clean, a duty which she grew tiresome of but completed diligently.

The very idea of living through another day like any other weighed down on her, threatening to tire her out before the day had truly really begun. But at the very bottom of the list she saw something written, in a handwriting almost less discernable than anything else.

Dried lilac?” With arms crossed, she thrummed her fingers against her elbow, scanning the bank of her mind for what that could possibly be used for. She breathed a cool, quick breath through her nose before shaking the curiosity out of her head. The sooner she finished shopping, the sooner she could return home and get on with her things, whatever those were. Practice, study, learn. Prepare to leave for the capital. The very idea energized her and she made her way around a corner, aiming to head for the stalls furthest away first, weaving her away around and ending with all perishables. And the dried lilac, she needed to find that too.

She kept herself busy while shopping by thinking of all of the possibilities of her future, her bright future, each different point a ripe fig, hers for the taking. That and the few extra coins that her mother always slipped into her purse. She was sure the woman knew the precise cost of all of these goods, even haggled down, leaving Marina some coin for herself to buy things for herself. She knew all of the stalls with the necessary goods, yes, but she was also keenly aware of each shop that had the nicest clothing, shoes, oils for her hair. She brushed a curl behind her ear, a near-futile effort, eyes catching onto the bright colors of a shawl that looked light and sophisticated. Sophisticated would be good for Stadarfell, right? She pulled her lips into a thin line at her inability to answer that question with any legtimacy, but trusted her gut anyway. Her gut hadn’t failed her, not yet. Not much.

How much for this, fine sir?” She blinked slowly, offering him a closed lipped but charming smile, adjusting the things she’d already purchased on her shoulder. She picked up the cloth, showing him only some of the gold and silver coins she had with her to not show her whole hand, then looped the shawl around her arm once he had agreed on a price that she was satisifed with. She turned away, smiling this time with a brief flash of her teeth. She knew just to wear this with. She took in a breath and let out a satisifed sigh. Being stuck with her parents wasn’t all bad now, was it?

And now the dratted dried lilac.” She mumbled, mostly to herself, but perhaps only mostly.

ooc: This is taking place before the attack. Also some listening if you'd like. :)
Offline Jericho May 19 2020, 6:05 PM
#2
  • Rogue
  • Age: 127
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank:
  • Total Posts: 7
  • Played by: Dorian
210 Mana · View All Items?
Docked within the channels of Kheim the Dealbreaker had been left in the more than capable hands of the crew as well as their Captain should he have remained aboard. Each of them knew the system, there was a level of trust to be held towards all who found themselves boarded there while in the same breath fueled suspicions towards actions left to be unseen in their journeys. Yet they were all able to steal away at a moment's notice to cater towards business or pleasure should it be sought further inland from where they temporarily found roost. Such was the case now as the eximius worked his way through the busy streets of Kheim’s marketplace. Eyes falling upon were those paths twisted round to meet each stall carefully stationed in order to find notice from some passerby should their goods not be enough of a calling card. Jericho could feel the weight of some of their eyes upon him, be it in curiousness or their unvoiced skepticism to the mutated man whose hooves clipped upon their carefully crafted paths.

Fallen ears flickered towards the rising grumbles of a voice beside him as Calico’s bare hand swept through the nearly white fur of their face seeking to catch the longer hairs which had fallen out of place into their dark eyes. The sun reigning high had wilted the hair to some degree as had the sea salt that still clung to every edge though it was not a foreign concept to either of the rogues who pulled themselves from the ship hours ago to reach this point. What remnants of the waves that had once slide over the surface of Jericho’s carapace-like skin had since evaporated beneath the rising heat of the afternoon. Though it was to remain deflected from a form which had shifted all too much during the Blanchard Projects for it left sweat unable to bead upon that hardened surface no matter a body’s desire to regulate temperature - one had to adapt.

Calico on the other hand let their complaints be known as lyrics hissed between their teeth, ‘Fuckin’ deserts, why we gotta stop ‘ere?’ They were not truthfully seeking an answer from the first mate as they already knew what was going to be said, it was where business had led them as it always had, so they did not wait for Jericho to speak up despite the way his crown tilted and jaw began to work. ‘No, don’t ya say it,’ a scowl working itself across the other eximius’ thin muzzle, ‘We ‘ad business ‘ere.’ A sigh pushed itself in a hiss between Jericho’s teeth as they parted in a tone nearly irate with the other, “Business and no need for you to tag along.” No reason to come if they had not wished to find something deeper within Kheim, “You could’ve stayed with the ship n’ kept to the edges of town.” To go to the taverns to find the relaxation and release they typically sought whenever they found a new place to be, yet now they trailed with the other.

The lack of questioning finding the lyrics caused the rat-like eximius’ scowl to deepen, ‘Aye I got interests out ‘ere.’ Sudden pause taken as small ears rotated one way while that piercing gaze went another as if seeking just what it was before an exaggerated step took them towards a stall but never fully closed the distance. There was a lack of commitment to their action yet they left claims to fall into place as they pulled towards the fabrics merchant, ‘Maybe I gots to look good.’ They nearly snorted with that line before paws turned them around to face Jericho again who returned the look they gave with a stare, not that it could be helped, as a heavily crested brow lowered to narrow that unshifted gaze. “That so? Got work to do then,” Calico hissed out a broken laugh to that, ‘Harsh comin’ from yer sorry mug, mate.’ Were the eximius capable of twisting his features into a sneer perhaps it would have happened there though instead he was left to track the steps the other took down the path towards what they hoped was more exciting than the last stall. ‘I’ma find somethin’ worth this trip,’ a drink the typical goal of the creature.

“Go back to the ship when you’re finished,” there was no need to linger here or attempt to seek the other out when it was all said and done. It was met with a wave of their hand just over their crown, blowing it off though each knew it was a line that would be listened to when it was all said and done. All Jericho currently sought was a moment to stretch out the joints that had begun to grow weary while on the sea. Air popping from between the bone as well as the pieces of their segmented frame which shifted over the next as a spine twisted to seek a fleeting comfort before hooves once again met the pathways. Pushing passed the stands as distant conversations of bartering carried on in the backdrop yet one was closer than the rest as the eximius angled to pull himself around the body of the woman who had begun to pull away from one of the stands. ‘And now that dratted dried lilac,’ a mumbled tone though one that turned the pirate’s heavy crown, debate on whether or not to let himself get involved in such a minor quarrel with oneself.

Her tones had been seeking though geared towards a plight that showed interest in merely her own business. Yet in the end the man was unapologetic in inviting himself into another’s business as there was a socialness within the creature beneath what many found an unwelcoming exterior. So hooves pivoted with a stumbled click upon the pathways as a form skirted alongside the stranger’s own till he was able to face her. Chin tilted downward to look upon the shorter woman as the pirate cleared his throat as if it were a suitable way to find another’s attention when it was all too focused upon their own task. Jericho does not wait for eyes to find him before, as much as highly unshifting features could allow, the eximius attempted not to be threatening - relying on the way lyrics pushed between clicking teeth. “Sorry to interrupt your deep thoughts, love.” Only a little truth found in such apology, “But might want to try the herbalist who set shop a street over. Hear he had some last year ain’t able to tell you bout this one though.” An attempt made to offer a grin that was passed the exposed bone though all it accomplished was scrunching some of his features, "Can show you if you ain't lookin' to get lost n' miss it."
Offline Marina May 25 2020, 11:03 PM
#3
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 23
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Human
  • Rank: Civilian
  • Total Posts: 3
  • Played by: Lavarift
150 Mana · View All Items?
Marina wasn’t sure if the cleared throat was directed at her at first, but the familiarity with which the voice that followed spoke had her almost rolling her eyes. She forced her approaching grimace into a trained and polite smile, reminding herself that her automatic feelings of irritation were premature, and turned her face to look at her stranger, not realizing just how much she had to tilt her neck back to look up. It was very far back.

That sigh that Marina had let out earlier? It had all sucked back into her in an instant, thankfully inaudibly (she hoped). Her dark brown eyes studied the eximius before her, because what else could the stranger be? Massive in form, utterly not human, and Marina took a nanosecond in her head to count the multiple eyes above his curved teeth. The smile froze on her face, like stone, before she cracked it open with sheer willpower.

You startled me.” She laughed, laughed but turned her eyes in the direction that she thought the eximius mentioned, just so that she could look away, hoping to stall.

Emotions warred within her. Curiosity, mistrust, excitement, and shamefully, twinges of fear. Her mind worked quickly, wondering initially if she was in any sort of danger before replaying the words he had spoken in her head again for any signs of hostility even when she had known that there hadn’t been any at all before she had even undergone the process. She had thought to herself, out loud, and this stranger was being, well, nice. Which she should return, even though her suspicions still felt on edge.

Is there? I was not familiar.” She felt her nerves thawing and she was regaining her sense of reason. She couldn’t help but think of this as something of a learning opportunity, and she evened her gaze on him as much as she possibly could, with more than three feet yawning between them. She felt like a child, for reasons beyond the height difference alone. She managed to ease her smile, raising one side a bit higher than the other, her dark brows level over her eyes. “An escort would be nice.

She felt like she was betraying herself, in a way, acting like a helpless damsel, but she wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity to talk to him, this stranger who had decided that for some reason she was worth his time. Questions floated, buzzed in her head, tumbling into one another so that they were incoherent, but that one rang out loud and clear. Why was she worth his time? Curiosity thrummed, taking up residence in her consciousness and settling in place over the rest of her emotions. It eased her tumult because now a clear goal shined down on her like a ray of light through a stormcloud. She gestured an arm forward in the general direction that she assumed the store would be in.

Lead the way, please. I certainly don’t think I’ll lose you.” She thought of that for a second. Was that offensive? “Because you’re so tall.” She said quickly, like she was explaining the punchline of a bad joke. She was great at this. Was saying that he had startled her earlier on bad too?

There was one important fact that would explain this interaction quite well: Marina had never spoken to an eximius before.
Offline Jericho May 26 2020, 1:37 PM
#4
  • Rogue
  • Age: 127
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank:
  • Total Posts: 7
  • Played by: Dorian
210 Mana · View All Items?
Not much more was needed to garner the human’s attention outside of the rough sound that rose into place within Jericho’s throat. Rude, abrasive, should the act have been studied further but it was not something that the eximius cared to do for it accomplished what was needed long before his tongue started to wag. Needless to say the woman had been pulled from the thoughts that preoccupied her as that dark gaze twisted around only to lift, then lift just a bit more, till widened eyes found focus upon the pirate’s mutated features. In an instant she froze as the smile she had begun to give was stuck in place as she stared up with what appeared to be a slight unknowing of just what to do. Eventually lips parted and out came a laugh, a burst of air, that told of one attempting to calm the spirits within.

‘You startled me.’

Bingo, assumptions right on the money when it came to involving himself with strangers. Yet this woman let herself turn away to spare a glance back as if ensuring nothing had been forgotten from the stall she had just left. So the eximius filled the space as one of his hands rested upon his chest with a slight bow at the waist, “Apologies ‘bout that.” A moment taken to straighten himself back out with a subtle click that trailed against his spine, “Be forgettin’ sometimes ain’t a welcomin’ sight.” In truth it was quite the contrary for Jericho knew quite well the effects a mutated appearance held even in the face of other eximius who found themselves more human or even what they considered to be a more tasteful alteration. Though in the end it was water off the duck’s back so to say and the pirate was left overall unperturbed.

Still the man listened as the woman spoke up again with a declaration of unfamiliarity to the potential of finding what was sought, it was just out of reach and set upon another course. Slowly those dark eyes turned back to face Jericho though it was not hard to miss the strain of her neck as it craned back in an attempt to meet that multi-eyed gaze that stared back. With her grin pulling back further the human found a line of acceptance in taking the eximius’ assistance, an escort, perhaps a means to an end to get what was wanted. It really didn’t matter to the man as his chin tilted up with a breath pushing between teeth which only clicked together with his words, “Can do, love.” However, it seemed the woman was not quite through with her vocalized observations even as action told of her willingness to follow. Yet it was before a step could be taken that he faltered just for a second to fully process what the woman was trying to say.

‘I certainly don’t think I’ll lose you. Because you’re so tall.’

Laughter was quick to roll through Jericho’s chest as hooves scuffed themselves upon the stone laden paths to close some of the distance between them. “If that all that be tellin’ you where I’m at I ain’t thinkin’ your eyes work too well.” Humor still carried within the pirate’s voice as one arm extended as if to usher the human along while another lifted as if framing his own mutated features. Air hissing between teeth though it was in a display of amusement, “These charmin’ looks ain’t the kicker, aye? Is just how tall I am?” There were very few he had happened across who could hold a candle to the way the man had contorted during the experiments yet Jericho was far from offended in how other’s processed it. Little good to be had should one find an attitude with everyone who looked at him sideways. “Come on then, lass. Let’s see if the ol’ coot got what you lookin’ for.” Lyrics lifting with a drop in humor as a set of arms mimicked the outstretched gesture she had given moments ago with only a silent alteration to where it was pointed.

There was hope the man would at least be able to guide her in the right direction should the wanted item not be carried this year as it had been the one prior. “Ain’t too far off so ain’t gonna be stealin’ too much of your time, Miss –” Line cutting out at the end as if prompting a name from the human without officially asking the question. Should it not be gained there was no harm that came of trying but the mutated man was a social creature. So still he pried into business that was not his own as curiosity often got the better of him as an unblinking glance was taken to ensure she was in fact coming along before continuing to speak to himself. “What you needin’ lilac for anyhow? Ya know,” one hand rotating at the wrist as if seeking the words. “For alternatives sake should it ain’t be workin’ in our favor today.” Despite the age the eximius held there were things he remained unversed in as attention had kept itself focused on the seas and what came about to better those journeys. And as memory could serve, lilac had never been on the menu. But then again knowing such things was not a large part of his field upon the vessel.
Offline Marina Jun 3 2020, 11:24 PM
#5
  • Svalbard
  • Age: 23
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Human
  • Rank: Civilian
  • Total Posts: 3
  • Played by: Lavarift
150 Mana · View All Items?
There were many, many reasons why Marina could say with confidence that she’d never met anyone like this eximius before. For one, the whole being eximius thing yes, that of course, but there were other aspects to him that were just atypical for her world. While Marina didn’t like to harbor any pre-concieved notions, there was just something about the way that this stranger acted that felt, not strange, but unexpected. Some quiet part of her wondered why unexpected, but she felt focused on his self-depricating response. His accent was not the only part of the way he spoke that was unlike anything that she’d heard before. She’d met travelers, but it was his words too, that were different. She scrunched her nose up the slightest bit, her eyes did continue to slip another peak every now and again, trying to stay mostly focused on the road ahead of her.

Everyone she knew in her life was proud of themselves, of what they had accomplished, and that reflected in the way they spoke. It wasn’t that this eximius spoke lowly of his appearance that struck her as strange. It was that she could still see it, a degree of pride in himself, in spite of his words.

She blinked, too at his laughter, a curious sound and motion that moved through his body. “You stand out, yes,” She began, though it was clear that she thought carefully about her words, even when speaking them firmly, “but certainly not as an unwelcome sight.” She was unafraid of making eye contact whenever she spoke to him, it was what she was taught was the polite, assertive thing to do.

And she was being truthful too, in her own way. Maybe she wouldn’t call him beautiful, but she had issues with thinking others who looked different were unsightly. Eximius or not. She felt strongly in her convictions, ones that she worked on so hard to get on her own, even when she was distantly aware that her worldview was very, very small. Meeting this immense stranger was more than enough proof of that. Her dark eyes looked down at her things, the bag she held for a moment.

Before she could hesitate, she looped one of her arms around his, locking her fingers around her other wrist, her of goods swinging on her other shoulder. Even his arms dwarfed hers, in size and amount. “Marina.” She finished for him, wondering what his name was, in return, but not asking, not yet. She let him finish talking.

And then he asked her about why she was hunting for the dried lilac. The question had occupied her own thoughts, echoing through her mind. There weren’t many different things she could think of, but at the end of the day, she didn’t know. And that not knowing felt like a single thorn wedged into her chest, because it only highlighted just how much she didn’t know. She knew nothing about the eximius, nothing of the culture of the eximius, the way they talked, the way they did and didn’t look, nothing about this particular one in front of her. But these warring thoughts were nothing to her. She’d experienced this before.

I think she wants to smell nice. Or to get something in our house to smell nice.” Marina was a practiced liar now, if she did say so herself, and she tilted her head to the side to look up at him, her curly hair moving airily with each step. She was getting used to the adjustment in her neck. She wondered if the people around the marketplace were staring at her now, walking with this other species, feeling a bit of thrill shoot through her at the idea of all of the attention. “”I’m sure another dried flower would do.” If she couldn’t find it, she couldn’t find it. And maybe then, her mother would tell her what it was for.

So, what are you doing here yourself?” Her ‘here’ was unspecified, and she paused, allowing him to speak his name if he wished, because she would be happy to know any of it. Who he was, why he was at this specific marketplace, in Svalbarð. Her hunger for knowledge rumbled in her with the clear strain in her curiosity. “Unless, you’re secretly some dried flower connoisseur here to rescue me in my troubles. If you have any suggestions on how to get things to smell nice, I’m open to suggestions from you, love.
Offline Jericho Jun 11 2020, 12:02 PM
#6
  • Rogue
  • Age: 127
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Eximius
  • Rank:
  • Total Posts: 7
  • Played by: Dorian
210 Mana · View All Items?
A sense of interest with a dusting of lingering humor found itself attempting to bleed across the eximius’ features as that horned crown tilted in regard to the woman at his side. Were it able to that heavy brow would have lifted with intrigue as curiosity built with the way she chose to counter how the man had previously talked of himself. Disbelief was present even should the way she spoke now sound convincing in that there was difference but most certainly not unwelcome. Teeth clicked together as the ability to emote further had long since been taken away though there was that everlasting amusement that remained upon Jericho’s tongue, “Kind words there, love.” Biting his tongue in continuing on that statement mainly for it was not anything that needed to be discussed, though the other side of that view was a well versed one.

Instead focus twisted upon prompting them to move forward with a note of surprise falling into place with the human’s actions when she took hold of one of the extended limbs. A much smaller arm linking itself into place with an acceptance of the eximius’ guidance. Clear the woman had since collected herself since the initial start she had been given and there was no hold upon a line of apprehension. Yet it was all that was needed for Jericho to begin leading her over the cobble path towards the street over where the man had once held his shop during this time of the season. “Marina, aye?” Name given to fill in the blank echoing against his tongue though the tones are somewhat strained against the back of his teeth, the M left to be more of a hum at the back of his throat when the proper sound was unable to be made.

“Good to have a name for a pretty face,” the attempt of flattery accompanied with a tilted crown as the multitude of pale eyes looked to her. “I be known as Jericho,” a version of the truth, but it was something for the human to call him as repayment for offering her own title. Though curiosity never dies there especially with one who thrives upon socialization, so the eximius continues to pry into business that was never his own. Though as long as Marina keeps answering his questions he would keep taking it as an invitation to press further, seek more. Yet with the next answer she gives the metaphysical digits of the mind strum upon the chords of confusion as she speaks of one not present. Shopping for another was she? Just who that someone was had been kept under tongue though the human remained forthright with what she knew.

Conviction, confidence, each were present in her voice as she spoke though she did not know why the dried lilac was needed and was left to guess at the purpose. “Lookin’ to smell nice, aye?” In truth Jericho lacked the information to counter such an assumption for the purposes of these herbal ingredients were lost upon the man and it was left in the far more capable hands of Leon, who was unfortunately still back on the ship. ‘I’m sure another dried flower would do,’ one of many free hands was quick to rise with that as an open palm made a gesture as if to stop. “Now no gettin’ ahead ourselves, we ain’t even seen what the ol’ man’s got this year,” if he was there at all, though the mutated eximius tried to hold onto that line of hope. If it turned out he wasn’t there or didn’t have the exact flower Marina was looking for, well, that was when a different course could be taken.

‘So, what are you doing here yourself?’ That question didn’t stop there as the words continued to spill forth with further inquiries that reached out for answers before a jest of occupation found itself against her lips. It drew a breath of air between his teeth as a chuckle rumbled within the eximius’ chest, “Ay, sorry to disappoint but there ain’t no flower knowledge knockin’ ‘round this ol’ skull. Only be knowin' they got a couple uses in 'em.” Hand lifted as a golden claw tapped against the plating which lined the side of his head, just beneath the horn, as if to emphasize the point being made till the limb was left to relax. “Was conductin’ business here in Kheim,” offloading goods should they be considered legal or not, “Currently killin’ time till we ready to set sail again in a few days.” A sailor, a fisher, either could be an alternative label to be placed upon the pirate though Jericho did not make it clear.

Still Jericho’s crown gave a small nod as a hand lifted to pat easily at the human’s arm that had remained linked within one of his own, “So never fear, love, got an open schedule.” Extra limbs pulling at the edge of his coat as if it needed adjusting against his shoulders when he spoke. There was nothing that should be interfering less Calico came seeking him out whenever they either got themselves into trouble or wished to simply locate the Dealbreaker’s first mate. Molars ground together with thought as the human was taken towards the crossroads in a journey that brought her ever closer to the end goal. Still Jericho pondered the inquiry of suggestions, “Well, if we ain’t find what you lookin’ for can get incense for ‘em to burn or them scented oils.” Shoulders shrugged lightly, “Or easy route, perfume, someone ‘round here gotta be sellin’ it all nice and prepared.” Some of those options being more geared towards it being the individual who wanted the lilac in the first place to be looking to cover a personal issue with odor more than a room.