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Author Topic: Chapter Three- "Beauty of the South" -Part One  (Read 1337 times)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2015, 06:57:05 AM »

Altario listened as Toama explained the details of their travels, ending with their encounter with the desert snake.  He could not help but note the similarities between Toama and these Shendar.  Were the two peoples related, much like the Remusians were related to the other Ice Tribes?  It was possible, he supposed.  They seemed to share colouring, the elevation of women in their society, desert life, even sitting on cushions.  They all seemed so comfortable, while his knee was aching and one foot was falling asleep.

The old woman spoke through the younger woman.  "The Mother wishes you to know that you are welcome to rest here.  You will be our guests.  When you are ready to leave, a guide will take you to safety, and you will be given food and water for your trip."

The younger woman looked a bit uncomfortable with the next bit of the translation.  "The Mother says that there is one condition to her generosity.  When you must leave, you must take with you another of our guests.  He is one that is touched by the gods.  He has been our guest for quite some time, since we found him in the desert much like you were.  But, the Mother believes it is time he was to rejoin his own people."

The old woman's voice had a stronger tone of authority now.  "The mother says to rest now.  You have been through much.  You and your mate will be taken to your own dome.  Your animals will be well cared for, and you will be summoned for evening meal."
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Favorite Cartoon Quotes
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2015, 02:54:31 PM »

Altario followed as he and Toama were led from the Mother's dome to a smaller dome.  Apparently the Shendar were convinced that he and the Sand Sister were a couple.  Looking at their dome, his face reddened somewhat, as the dome was a little too intimate for his liking.  It was small and sparsely furnished with not much more than bedding laid out on the floor, bedding that they expected him and Toama to share.

"You get rest, now, and I'll go check on the horses," he told her.  Perhaps he could find a place to sleep outside, so as to not embarrass Toama.  "I'll meet you again at the evening meal."

Altario made his way back outside and it was hardly any trouble making his way to where the horses were kept.  As he approached them, he couldn't help but be impressed with the Aj'Nuvic he saw there.  He was careful not to get too near them, as the few Shendar watching the animals visibly tensed when he did so.  He knew how close these desert people were to their mounts, as the Remusians were to the Koroch fey Mologhs.

The were magnificent beasts, he noted.  Tall, athletic with an intelligent eye.  He had seen Shendar riding them, effortlessly it seemed.  They were masters of the desert with them, much like the Remusian horse made his people the masters of the Iceland's Coast.  In that small way, Altario felt a certain kinship to these desert people.

Finding his little horse, he fashioned a harness out of a length of rope.  He then led her out from the rest of the animals, out to a flat patch of sand.  There he began to run her in circles around him, while he pivoted in place.  Using the length of rope as a whip, he lightly touched her flank while urging her forward with commands, taking her from a walk to a trot, then halting her.  He had her go in circles in a left direction around him, then turned her about and had her perform all the same commands in the opposite direction.

He had to admit, his initial thoughts about her were proving to be true.  Though smaller than Horse, Danilyn was very intelligent.  Her eyes never left him, and as she moved, her ears kept turning toward him waiting for his next command.  Though he would grieve the death of his trusted companion, Danilyn would one day be a worthy successor to Horse.

"You look like him, yet you do not."

The voice took Altario by surprise, so engrossed was he with Danilyn that he did not notice anyone approach.
"Kinoch!" he spoke in Remusian.  Danilyn came to an immediate stop, her front hooves digging into the sand.  He turned his head to the sound of the voice and saw the pregnant interpreter standing watching him.  "What was that?"

The woman smiled softly, her green eyes studying him closely.  "I can see your brother in you.  I was not sure at first, for where his face is one filled with pleasure and love, yours is more hard, with sadness etched in it.  But here, with your horse, it is unmistakable that you and he are related."

Altario furrowed his brow.  "What do you mean?  Who do I look like?"

The woman smiled and placed her hands across her swollen abdomen.  "The father of this child; Denrykmar Shialt-eck-Gorrin.  My husband."

Altario felt his knees trembling, as if he were about to sink into the sand.  "My- my brother is here?"

The smile left her face for a moment.  "No.  He has gone.  He is in search of your daughter.  He will return when he finds her."  She stepped forward gracefully and ran a hand along the horse's neck.

This news was stunning for Altario.  "How long has he been gone?"

"Several weeks.  I was not nearly this big when he left."

Altario stared at her belly, only now realizing that his family blood ran within the child inside.  Suddenly he felt a wave of guilt.  "I'm sorry he is not here."

Her eyes found his.  "My daughter is safe, and she will be here waiting for him when he returns.  He needs to help return your daughter to you, or he will never be completely happy with his life here.  He loves you so very much, as well as your daughter."

A lump grew large in Altario's throat.  He needed to think of something else.  "What if your child is a boy?"

The woman laughed gaily.  "You are indeed brothers.  He claims it is a boy, but a Shendar knows when a girl grows within her.  This girl inside me is meant for great things, Baveras has told me in my dreams."

Altario could not argue with her and he smiled warmly.  "My brother has given up much, a truly remarkable wife and future child to help me."

A slight grimace crossed her face, followed by a huge grin.  "Your voice is much like Denrykmar's.  My daughter grows restless each time you speak.  She misses her father."  She cocked her head to the side.  "Would you like to feel your brother's daughter move?"

Without waiting for him to answer, which he would have politely but shyly declined, she stepped forward and grasped his hand and placed it on her womb.  A moment later, Altario was grinning widely as he felt his niece, or gods willing a nephew, kicking within her.  "He is strong."

"She," she stated matter of factly, before a slight giggle erupted from her.  

"What... what is your name, my sister?"

"This woman is named Ta-Mayleene."

"Ta-Mayleene," Altario repeated, before bowing to her.  "I welcome you to our family."

Ta-Mayleene inclined her head toward him.  "And I welcome you into my family, Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin."  She looked toward the domes, which were now bathed in light from torches as the sun was dipping beyond the horizon.  "We should go within the domes.  There is to be a feast in your honour, and there will be a sword dance as well."

Altario nodded, seeing as it was getting late.  He had to tell Toama what he had learned.  They were getting closer to Denrykmar and perhaps Nayriss as well.  He led Danilyn back to the herd of Aj'Nuvic and removed the rope harness.  He questioned Ta-Mayleene on whether the herd would run away, as there was no corral or fence around them, but she assured him that Aj'Nuvic's did not run away, and that they would keep the horses close to them.

They entered the inner common area amidst the circle of domes just as food was being served.  Altario spotted Toama and hurried over to her.  He took a seat near her and slightly behind, while Ta-Mayleene took her place near the Mother.

While the food was being brought to them, he leaned forward and whispered to the Sand Sister all he had learned from Ta-Mayleene.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 03:09:54 PM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Toama SorInyt
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2015, 07:37:33 PM »

When Toama and Altario were left at the smaller dome, and the need for concentration abated somewhat, the full result of breaking off her meditation incorrectly back in the desert came crashing down on her. If she'd had a headache before, it was nothing compared to the crippling pain that shot down from her head and through her body. She barely heard Altario tell her to get some rest before she crashed on the bedding, curling in on herself. She knew from experience that this was something she would have to struggle through, there were no medicines to combat it. Sleep would be next to impossible until the worst of it had passed.

By the time the pain subsided somewhat and she was able to think again, several hours had passed and someone was clearing their throat just outside the little dome. With every muscle in her body protesting, Toama considered simply not answering, but decided that would poorly repay her host's hospitality. Dragging herself upright, she opened the skin that served for a door. There was a girl of about 13 or 14 years old standing there, fidgeting nervously. Toama assumed she was not used to strangers, if she was already a woman it could not have been long. She smiled at the girl to try and put her at ease.

"Ehm... Eh, you are requested, uhm, to join the evening meal." Despite her age, she was rather fluent in Tharian. Possibly she was a sister to the pregnant woman who had translated earlier in the day. The Sand Sister nodded - carefully, the pain was still not far away even though she'd had the worst of it now. "I will comink. Please one moment." Turning back into the dome, she undid the bands in her hair, while grabbing a brush from her packs, which had been brought in when they'd been shown the dome.

She had not paid much attention to her hair in the past couple of days. Survival had been more important. However, for the evening meal she wished to appear at least a little bit presentable. There were quite a few tangles in her long hair. With a wry smile she went back to the door. "You will helpink, please?" she asked the girl, showing her the brush. She looked at the older woman with wide eyes for a moment, then a shy smile broke through. With a nod she took the brush. Toama seated herself cross-legged on the floor.

"You have very pretty hair." the girl said as she slowly drew the brush through the tangles. The Sand Sister enjoyed the attention. Getting her hair brushed by someone else was a rare pleasure. She would never dream of asking, for example, Altario to do something like that.

"Thank you."

"I'm Alena. What's your name?"

"I am beink called Toama."

From there the conversation flowed rather naturally, if a bit stilted on Toama's side due to her lack of Tharian. By the time her hair was all brushed out, she felt quite warmly towards the young girl.

They decided she would wear her hair loose, something she rarely did. Still, she did not expect much strenuous activity, so for one night it would be ok. Alena promised to come by the next morning to help her braid it again.

Together they went to the central dome, where the evening meal was served. She had only just been seated when Altario came in and spotted her. When he was seated as well, he told her what he had discovered about his brother. Toama smiled. "This is beink good news."
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2015, 09:14:30 PM »

"Good news indeed," Altario agreed, smiling excitedly.

There was a excited murmuring in the crowd and Altario looked up to see two men carrying an Aka'pi on a spit into the main area.  It was obvious that it had been roasting previously on some other fire, it's skin crispy and dripping fat onto the sand.  The two men then set the spit above a fire and a man with a long knife began slicing off chunks of meat onto platters.  These platters were then taken out into the crowd where people helped themselves.

When a platter was offered to Altario he took a large piece that had the crispy skin attached.  He took a bite and let out a small moan of pleasure as grease dripped down his chin.  This was some of the best freshly roasted meat he could remember eating.

While he chewed, another murmur in the crowd alerted him to activity in the center of the main clearing.  A man, at least Altario thought it was a man, entered the area.  He was dressed in cream coloured robes and billowy trousers while wearing a blue tunic and a blue head scarf that wrapped about his head and face leaving only a small slit for his eyes.

He took a stance and stood unmoving while a drumbeat began to echo and a small flute began to play.  The robed man carried a kilij in each hand, the blades gleaming in the torchlight, and the gems decorating the pommel reflecting the light.  Very slowly he raised up the two blades, crossing them above his head while lifting one leg high up.  His dexterity amazed Altario, who unconsciously grimaced at the flexibility of the warrior.

The warrior dropped his leg and stomped the sand, while the swords whirled about him and he spun about.  Suddenly he stopped once more and again moved slowly, putting his body into seemingly impossible positions.

Altario watched in fascination as the man repeated his pattern of slow deliberate moves punctuated by bursts of blinding speed, all of this in perfect concert to the beat of the drum and flute.  It was mesmerizing and the Remusian could not recall ever seeing a spectacle like this before in his life.

"Denrykmar very much liked the Sword Dance.  A sword dancer can spend their entire lives seeking perfection of their art and never be satisfied.  We are lucky that we have one of great skill in our dome."

Altario was mildly startled at Ta-Mayleene's voice in his ear.  He had not noticed her leave her seat next to the Mother.

"I have not seen the like before.  He's very skilled."

"She," Ta-Mayleene stated matter of factly, as if she were used to it, perhaps having corrected Denrykmar in the same way.  Remusians were not used to a society so female oriented.  "You have both enjoyed the food?  The Aka'pi was roasted in your honour."

"Delicious," Altario confirmed.

Ta-Mayleene studied the Sand Sister for a moment before turning her head toward Altario.  "Your partner looks very beautiful tonight, with her hair down, does she not?"

Altario felt his face redden.  "She's not my mate," he told the Shendar without so much as a glance toward Toama.

Ta-Mayleene turned back toward Toama and smiled warmly while reaching out a hand and stroking a length of hair.  "Still, I believe she is lovely and she is not my mate.  Can you not see as I do?  You say that the dance is good.  You say the food is good.  Is it so hard to say that your friend is beautiful?"

Reluctantly Altario looked at Toama.  Indeed, he had never seen her look as lovely as she did with her hair down and brushed perfectly, her face washed with the firelight flashing off of it.  "Yes, you look beautiful tonight, Toama," he mumbled awkwardly. 

Satisfied, Ta-Mayleene looked at Toama intently.  "The Mother has said that it is best that you be allowed to continue on your journey sooner than later.  This dome is to move into the deeper desert and it would not be safe for you to leave then.  Therefore, you will be accompanied north morning after next."

Ta-Mayleene glanced down to the sword dance for a moment, then turned back to the Sand Sister.  "There is another that will accompany you; another of your kind.  He has lived with us a short time, but the deep desert is no place for those inexperienced in our ways."

Ta-Mayleene looked over to a younger girl, gave a nod and watched the girl go off to fetch the other person.  "My cousin Alena will bring him to meet you."  She smiled warmly at Toama.  "My cousin likes you.  She enjoyed helping you with your hair.  She says you are very kind.  Thank you." She inclined her head warmly.
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Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Shira
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2015, 11:43:39 PM »

Shira sat amongst the other Shendar and watched the sword dancer. It was a beautiful dance, she thought, though her mother had told her the dances were done always with two partners. It was a competition. Maybe it was she that was the partner? Her dance was coming after. Perhaps that was it.

Shira bit her lip, and her stomach growled. She had no plate with her, no helping of aka'pi. She mustn't, or she'd be sore for the dance. She would eat after.

It was worrisome, though. There were so many people, and it had become not any easier to dance for crowds no matter how many times she did. Oh Eyasha, she prayed, still my nerves! She thought then that she shouldn't have offered, but it had been right to do. These guests were important somehow, that she knew. Armeros had said so. When a snake kills a horse, that was a sign it was. And the man was the brother of Ta-Mayleene's husband, chanced upon in the desert! The dunes take what they want, and give up only that which the gods will. The dome had been lead to them.

Shira turned her gaze towards the man. She wasn't sure his name. Ta-Mayleene's husband, Denrykmar she thought it was?, he had this long last name. Shira supposed the brother had the same, if only she could remember what it was. But the two hadn't looked the same. This one was sad, Shira could tell. Lines creased his face and shaded his eyes even when he smiled. It was the same look her mother had. Her mother's mother and her sisters and her brothers and all the women and men in Mother Kahi's dome all had great big smiling faces that could never fade, but her mother's was hard like this man's was hard. And he'd lost his horse. He'd lost his horse and held it to him and told no one to touch it. It was his aj'nuvic and he'd lost it to the snake. There were few things sadder in the world. And so it was that she'd cut off a tuff of the horse's tail hair and spent the afternoon braiding it. You should always keep them with you, she'd thought, and so she'd made a little memento that the man could keep. She'd give it to him after the dance.

Shira stood up and walked out of the dome to her aj'nuvic. Aki was lying down on the ground with his legs pulled up underneath him, but his eyes were open and he was watching the desert horizon. He liked the desert, Shira knew. She had always kept him in the city, when they were living in Strata, but he was a desert creature. Shira dropped down to the ground and then wrapped her arms around him as she pressed her head against his fur. "I'm happy you're not asleep," she said to him, "You can see the dance. It'll be outside, out here." There wasn't enough room inside, she'd surely burn down the tent if she tried.

"I know you don't want to go to Varcopas," Shira said as she rubbed Aki's neck. "I know you just want to stay with the dome. But the desert is for you, not me. The desert is for you and mother and Asey and Kahi and all of them inside there, but it's not for me. Like, like today. I never want to see a rock snake ever again. Were you scared? They're awful creatures they are."

The feast and sword dancing continued on inside the dome.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 12:09:45 AM by Shira » Logged

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