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Author Topic: A Tarshiinite Tale: ' Otapii and the Cave- Part 1'  (Read 3480 times)
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Decipher Ziron
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« on: 27 May 2009, 02:08:20 »

Otapii and the Cave

One of the many popular tales of adventure written by the celebrated Savant of Literature Umorii Sasarta, a man who amongst other things besides his writings created various musical instruments from coral and fathered the eventual polymath Monk Sasarta. 'Otapii and the Cave' follows one of the many adventures of Sasarta's recurring hero Otapii, a man with varying backgrounds depending on which of the stories is being read. As is typical of many of the Otapii tales, in 'Otapii and the Cave' our protagonist seeks out treasure, only to eventually bite off more than he can chew:




Part 1



The blade stroke of the Kiiahk’s oar sliced dexterously through the surface of the clear water and tapped gently upon the rocky floor as the weary-eyed paddler himself finally saw what he had been waiting for- the Stone Maw. Otapii rubbed his eyes in disbelief as his craft drifted into the gargantuan jaws of the monstrous sea cave, quickly enveloping the man into corridors of rock as he left the expanse of sea he had travelled to get here behind him.

The paddler vacated the cockpit, lowering himself partially into the now-murky shin-deep water. Unfastening the inconceivably complex knots that bound his equipment to the front of the Kiiahk, the man quickly removed a small, copper trinket, no bigger that his own thumb: an echo whistle. Inhaling with the force of a Faen thunderstorm and exhaling with equal ferocity into the blowhole Otapii shot a single bolt of sound throughout the ever-intertwining slipways of the sea cave, delivering a rude awakening to the archaic, sleep cavern.

‘It's no use’, remarked the man disappointedly, straining to hear some sort of correlation in the chorus of resonance. But to no avail. He would have to find another way of navigating this maze. ‘It’s a good job I brought these then’, uttered Otapii to himself, brandished an odd contraption that seemed like the warped child of a bird-cage and a greenhouse, stuffed with hundreds of odd, mobile little lights: hundreds upon hundreds of Nighttorch Moths ablaze with white light. As Otapii laid his hand on the small mechanism keeping the container closed the moths began to bustle with activity, craving their long-awaited freedom. With a simple flick of an index finger a stream of blinding light cascaded into the fissure, almost illuminating it too effectively as the insects fluttered around the area, basking in the freshness of the damp air and the infinite personal space.

Wading through the water alongside the small raft holding the burden Otapii had paddled all this way, the man decided to follow the path that the largest numbers of moths seemed to have followed, which sadly lead him through a slipway with an increasingly lowering ceiling. Otapii steadily began to regret electing this path, as the man slowly but surely was forced to crouch and crouch and crouch and crouch until finally he was crawling on all fours through shallow water with just enough space for his tiny raft to trail behind: the expansive cave suddenly diminishing into a tunnel even the most flexible rodents would have trouble with.

After the tunnelling difficulties subsided however the paddler found himself in for an unexpected fall, the end of the tunnel leading to a significant, sheer drop into a small pool of remarkably pure water, glittering under the light of the Nighttorches.  After consolidating his shock into determination, Otapii wrestled himself out of the pool to a dumbfounding sight nestled at the edge of the internal pond:

In perfect juxtaposition with the cramped tunnel he had used to enter this place, Otapii stood before a grand absence in the stone, a huge empty, rocky stomach. Almost creating one, single, penetrating spotlight, the Nighttorches lining the jagged walls bathed the centre of the great rough, rock-strewn bubble in divine luminosity. It was, however, what sat at the centre of the hollow chamber that interested Otapii to no end.
The fabled ‘Needle of the Maw’, a huge obelisk craft from Tiquaitan silver with intricate detailing, stood before Otapii, the extravagantly beautiful entity, at least eleven or twelve times the man’s height, drenched by the innumerable tiny orbs lining the limits of the cavity. ‘Hm’ indolently remarked Otapii, not quite emulating the beauty of the spectacle that lay before him. ‘So I suppose it was real…’  

Approaching the dominating image with such an air of casualness it almost insulted the grandeur; Otapii dragged the small raft he had fished out behind him towards the foot of the metallic obelisk. Running his dampened palm along the slightly raised Tiquaitan runes embossed onto the surface of the silver, the paddler took a moment to savour the sheer age of what stood before him. The obelisk itself, however, was not what Otapii had come all this way for.

Rustling, once again, into the mysterious bag accompanying him on his journey, Otapii withdrew a coarse, black string with four oddly shaped copper trinkets hanging from it like strange serrated pendants. Locating one small edge on the silver obelisk, Otapii ran his fingernails down a small indent on the large structure and removed a small rectangular plate no bigger than a sheet of parchment, revealing four empty slots. After biting the string in half, Otapii proceeded to remove each individual copper figure. The mysteriously shaped pieces of metal were then placed one by one into the slots on the obelisk, causing an immediate cranking. As the metallic spluttering instigated by the insertion of the keys intensified, the huge obelisk itself opened in half as if dissected down the middle, revealing a huge network of minute, dusty cogs. At the foot of the new opening, directly adjacent to Otapii, lay a small iron disc that began to lift itself as the huge mechanical piece convulsed even further. The door was there.




Pronounciation Guide


Otapii- Oh-Ta-Pi
Kiiahk- Kai-Ak (Kayak!)
Tiquaitan- Tik-Wai-Tan
« Last Edit: 19 July 2009, 00:40:18 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Decipher Ziron
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« Reply #1 on: 29 May 2009, 06:24:46 »

Ready for Commentary!
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #2 on: 29 May 2009, 09:42:07 »

Looks good, Deci. :D

Comment 1:  In a cave setting, a waterfall would be a horrendously noisy thing, so how does he not hear the sheerdrop before going over the edge?  Or did I read that wong?

Comment 2:  This is one of opinion, so please do not take offence. undecided  A thesaurus has a lot of wonderful words in it, but overuse of it can take away from the readability of a piece.  I, myself, do not use it enough, relying on my own vocabulary, which could use some expanding.  I enjoyed the story, and look forward to more episodes of this, but was distracted from the story by the sheer volume of $3 words. ( a figure of speech meaning someone who uses fancy wording, lol)

Otherwise, an interesting read.  You leave a lot of mystery in the obelisk, and draw the reader in, wanting to know more.  Good job :D
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Decipher Ziron
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« Reply #3 on: 29 May 2009, 20:54:35 »

Comment 1:

At the bottom of the tunnel there is a pocket of water, not the bottom of a waterfall, if that makes sense...

Comment 2:

I didn't use a thesaurus  buck Sorry if my language is needlessly flamboyant....

Thanks for the input Alt! Will see how I can integrate these!

Deci
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« Reply #4 on: 31 May 2009, 07:12:17 »

I liked it too.

I just have two quick comments, both about syntax rather then the actual content. 

First, in the first line, you describe the oars as dexterous and I think you may have meant something else.  Dexterous, as I know it at least, generally means agile and I'm not exactly sure how that adjective could be applied to a pair of oars.  Would you mind explaning that?

Secondly, in the third to last paragraph I'm not sure if juxtaposed is exactly the right word either.  I'm not really a vocabulary wiz, but I was under the impression it was generally used to contrast ideas or concepts rather than physical objects.

Other then that, nothing else jumped out at me.  It was easy to read and flowed nicely.  Well done.
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Decipher Ziron
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« Reply #5 on: 09 June 2009, 05:38:03 »

Well I meant the stroke, will specify this!

Oh, and Juxtaposition just means contrast.....but with more poignance. I think it literally means 'set agaisnt'or something along those lines....

Thanks Drasil....

Deci
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« Reply #6 on: 17 June 2009, 02:55:13 »

Um, can I get this blarrowed then, or are there any pressing issues with it?
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« Reply #7 on: 17 June 2009, 03:43:36 »

I'm reading through it now :)
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« Reply #8 on: 20 June 2009, 03:36:25 »

Hello Decipher! A very evocative introduction, great details regarding the setting - looking forward to the next instalments. Apologies in advance for the somewhat brusque, "telegraphic" format - there is so much to catch up on and so little time! Plus I want to go windsurfing tomorrow so need to go to bed early ;) A couple of quick observations/edits:

- Something I learned through trial and error: The fewer adjectives you use, the more force your prose has. In the same vein, I've trimmed the text a little - (a) to make the text read a bit smoother and (b) to remove anything that I thought was over the top. Of course it is a matter of style, so you are free to disagree :)

- Likewise, I've always been told to keep "started to", "commenced", "began to (verb)" to a minimum. They slow down the flow.

- A pronunciation guide to accompany the main text please! For all the character and place names!




Part 1


The blade stroke of the Kiiahk’s oar sliced dexterously through the surface of the clear water and tapped gently upon the rocky floor of the water ("oar", "blade stroke", "surface", "paddler" all imply water) as the weary-eyed paddler himself finally saw what he had been waiting for- the Stone Maw. Otapii rubbed his eyes in disbelief as his craft idly drifted into the gargantuan jaws of the monstrous sea cave, quickly enveloping the man into corridors of rock as he left the expanse of sea he had travelled to get here behind him.

The paddler vacated the cockpit (word choice? anachronistic?), lowering himself partially into the now-murky shin-deep water. Unfastening the inconceivably complex knots that bound his equipment to the front of the Kiiahk, the man quickly removed a small, copper trinket, no bigger that his own thumb: an echo whistle. Inhaling with the force of a Faen thunderstorm and exhaling with equal ferocity into the designated blowhole Otapii shot a single bolt of sound throughout the ever-intertwining slipways of the sea cave, delivering a rude awakening to the archaic, sleep cavern.

It is (or it's) no use’, remarked the man disappointedly, straining to hear some sort of correlation in the chorus of resonance. But to no avail. He would have to find another way of navigating this incredulous maze. ‘It’s a good job I brought these then’, uttered Otapii to himself, brandished an odd contraption that seemed like the warped child of a bird-cage and a greenhouse, stuffed with hundreds of odd, mobile little lights: hundreds upon hundreds of Nighttorch Moths ablaze with white light. As Otapii laid his hand on the small mechanism keeping the container closed the moths began to bustle with activity, craving their long-awaited freedom. With a simple flick of an index finger a stream of blinding light cascaded into the fissure, almost illuminating it too effectively as the insects fluttered around the area, basking in the freshness of the damp air and the infinite personal space.

Wading through the water alongside the small raft holding the burden Otapii had paddled all this way, the man decided to follow the path that the largest numbers of moths seemed to have followed, which sadly lead him through a slipway with an increasingly lowering ceiling. Otapii steadily began to regret electing this path, as the man slowly but surely was forced to crouch and crouch and crouch and crouch until finally he was crawling on all fours through shallow water with just enough space for his tiny raft to trail behind: the expansive cave suddenly diminishing into a tunnel even the most flexible rodents would have trouble with.

After the tunnelling difficulties had subsided however the paddler found himself in for an unexpected fall, the end of the tunnel leading to a significant, sheer drop into a small pool of remarkably pure water, glittering under the light of the Nighttorches.  After consolidating his shock into determination, Otapii wrestled himself out of the pool to a dumbfounding sight nestled at the edge of the internal pond:

In perfect juxtaposition with the cramped tunnel he had used to enter this place, Otapii stood before a grand absence in the stone, a huge empty, rocky stomach. Almost creating one, single, penetrating spotlight, the Nighttorches lining the jagged walls bathed the centre of the great rough, rock-strewn bubble in divine luminosity. It was, however, what sat at the centre of the hollow chamber that interested Otapii to no end.
The fabled ‘Needle of the Maw’, a huge obelisk craft from Tiquaitan silver with intricate detailing, stood before Otapii, the extravagantly beautiful entity, at least eleven or twelve times the man’s height, drenched by the innumerable tiny orbs lining the limits of the cavity. ‘Hm’ indolently remarked Otapii, not quite emulating the beauty of the spectacle that lay before him. ‘So I suppose it was real…’ 

Approaching the dominating image with such an air of casualness it almost insulted the grandeur; Otapii dragged the small raft he had fished out behind him towards the foot of the metallic obelisk. Running his dampened palm along the slightly raised Tiquaitan runes embossed onto the surface of the silver, the paddler took a moment to savour the sheer age of what stood before him. The obelisk itself, however, was not what Otapii had come all this way for.

Rustling, once again, into the mysterious bag accompanying him on his journey, Otapii withdrew a coarse, black string with four oddly shaped copper trinkets hanging from it like strange serrated pendants. Locating one small edge on the silver obelisk, Otapii ran his fingernails down a small indent on the large structure and removed a small rectangular plate no bigger than a sheet of parchment, revealing four empty slots. After biting the string in half, Otapii proceeded to remove each individual copper figure. The mysteriously shaped pieces of metal were then placed one by one into the slots on the obelisk, causing an immediate cranking to occur. As the metallic spluttering instigated by the insertion of the keys intensified and loudened, the huge obelisk itself opened in half as if dissected down the middle, revealing a huge network of minute, dusty cogs. At the foot of the new opening, directly adjacent to Otapii, lay a small iron disc that began to lift itself as the huge mechanical piece began to convulse even further. The door was there.
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"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Decipher Ziron
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« Reply #9 on: 21 June 2009, 02:28:22 »

Thanks Coren!

Addressed those changes (spare a few that I didn't like stylisticly)  grin

Also:

Quote
The paddler vacated the cockpit (word choice? anachronistic?),

Cockpit is used to describe the part of the boat in the actual Kiiahk entry, so its consistent with whats already been defined.

Deci
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« Reply #10 on: 27 June 2009, 21:14:13 »

Can this be included in the imminent update?
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« Reply #11 on: 28 June 2009, 16:42:46 »

As this is "one of the many Otapii" tales, I'd say we open up a book on Otapii adventures and add this as the first story. If you can provide a name and a summary/teaser for the book, Deci, then it should be in this update.
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Decipher Ziron
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« Reply #12 on: 29 June 2009, 05:30:09 »

Sorry for not getting here in time! Was incredibly ill!

Here it is for next time:

'The Adventures of Otapii'

The everpresent Tarshiinite hero, Otapii is one of the most recognisable characters in North-West Nybelmarian literature and is amongst the various creations of Umorii Sasarta, the father to the brilliant Tarshiinite polymath of the same name (usually distinguished by reference as 'Monk Sasarta'). This book charters the various, and oddly unrelated, adventures of the intrepid and gold-hungry treasure hunter Otapii, accompanied always by various unexplained trinkets and his trusty Kiiahk. While each of the tales is drastically different, each are literary treasures of the Tarshiinites even to do this day and each often keeps the reader on the edge of their seat in anticipation.
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« Reply #13 on: 30 June 2009, 02:40:10 »

Ok, then definitely marked for next time :D
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« Reply #14 on: 30 June 2009, 09:16:11 »

Intriguing! 

Does Otapii have a support system back home in Tarshiin.... perchance a group known as 'Ehm-Fiftiine', with a stern taskmaster who sends him out on his adventures, and a crazy old inventor called 'Queue'? 
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