The Islander

A place for the stories that take place within Rhy'Din
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Majel KarDova
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Location: RhyDin City

The Islander

Post by Majel KarDova » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:07 pm

Under the light of RhyDin’s sister and brother moons, Arabrab and Trebor, the bitterly cold night was clear and well lit. As people disembarked from the ship, The Wave Dancer, it was a drab sea of browns, greys, and black hair and garments seen by the light of the moons and any torches, braziers, and lamps.

The woman who took her time leaving the deck of the ship was a slight exception to those in the immediate area. With hair as red as hers, it was impossible not to stand out. The cowl of a leather mantle about her shoulders hadn't been pulled up and she was already getting a few looks and stares. The wayfarer wasn’t trying to hide, though. Not just yet.

Majel KarDova followed the path of others but came to a stop a few feet away from piles of ropes, chains, nets along with crates stacked in numerous piles. She had traveled to many cities, villages and town, seaports. Most of them had markets, taverns, inns, and more that were staples of any area civilized and large enough to have them. Where she was headed to after this one would be new paths, new places and faces to her.

Black and brown patchwork cowl was pushed back a little further, her hair in the way a bit, when a bald man approached her. He was tall and his skin that was weathered from wind, salt, and water. Golden eyes smiled to the man before her lips did. “Martyn.”

“Maj!” He chuckled and scrubbed his hand against the side of his britches, then thrust it out to her in a greeting. “I thought that was you! Well, would ya look at you! Grown and looking like a right-fine woman!”

Majel laughed and met his hand with hers, clasping it with a friendly palm to palm. “I would hope so! I was all of twelve Winters, last I saw you.” She slowly started to grin and made a show of looking him over from his bald, shaved head to a pair of boots he was wearing that were in need of being replaced a long time ago. “You got shorter.”

Martyn scoffed at her jesting. “Not an inch! You just got taller.” He eyed her scarred cheek. Only a few knew how that had happened long ago to her. He was among one of those few. The memory was shoved aside. It was not the time to think on shadows of the past. A grin was snatched up by him and cast at her. “Come, Maj, my girl! Come with me and have a drink. I’ll show you around Gull Haven here. It’s not the glittering city of RhyDin, but it is home!” He chuckled as he spoke about the seaport at the very southern reaches of the immediate landmass. “Tell me what you’re doing here and not on the islands. Trade? Hunting for something particular for you and your band of merry mercers? Tell me of your father and brothers….” Martyn rattled on and on with obvious happiness to find a familiar face.

At his jovial insistence and the string of questions, Majel laughed aloud. “One thing at a time, Martyn!” She needed something to drink and eat. And she had a few questions of her own. As they stepped away from edge of dock, she tossed the request at him. “I need a map.” Cheerily, mirthfully. “And a few tales about a Red Dragon.”

Martyn’s look of curiosity and a grin had her laughing again. It was going to be a long night, but none would find her complaining to be in the company of an old family friend who seemed nothing more to his fellow dockhands and a scruff like them. Shadows of the past knew better. “Any red dragon in particular?”

“A Red Dragon…inn…” Toying with the words, she chuckled at him. “Lead the way!” She pulled the leather cowl of the mantle over her vividly red hair to calm some of the image and mute it a bit to blend better in the crowd of those working and milling about the docks, ships, and the rest of Gull Haven. It was dangerous sometimes to stand out.

The man beside her was not prodigal with his smiles, but that night he had them in abundance and spent her way. "Now, who's going about talking about that old place, huh?" Their walk was short-lived since he stopped when they had only passed a handful of buildings. The door of the establishment was reached for.

"Larek of Shale Strife." She could never mention his name without feeling like she needed to very hot bath and a scouring.

"Lar -- that fool?!" Martyn snorted and yanked the door of the tavern open. "I doubt he's ever even been there!" Scoffing, he let her go first. It was unlikely at was from the kindness of manners, but that he was still trying not to spew obscenities for the rest of the night. He huffed a breath and trusted himself to speak only after she headed inside, a stride before him. "That... that reindeer herder!"

Majel laughed. Martyn's words drew a few odd, confused looks from some of the patrons in the tavern they had just entered. But to call Larek a reindeer her was plain awful. Anyone from Drasnia -- or knew Drasnians -- knew that.. "Martyn!" She laughed again, barely able to contain herself. "He might have been born in Drasnia but he claims Shale Strife."

To that, Martyn snorted his disgust. "He's an as--" Another breath dragged into his very prejudice heart -- only when it came to that man in particular -- "He's an Off-Worlder! Not even from the mainland, but an Off-Worlder!"

"Martyn." Majel's tone changed, just a little. It seemed she had been trying to calm him down. Her smile was kind and a hand met his shoulder with a friendly pat.

"Hmm? What?" He let the door go, letting it close and glanced at her.

"There are many Off-Worlders in RhyDin. Especially in the capital. Many that you will never meet. Nor I." She nodded, keeping the leather cowl over most of her very red hair. "But I understand. The man is insufferable." Majel knew she was being far too kind to call Larek that.

"Hrrumph!" He shook his head and wandered off in the room ahead of her. "Hank!"
Last edited by Majel KarDova on Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
___________________
Majel "Maj" KarDova
"Do not worry. Everything has flaws, everything has cracks. How else would the light get in?" -Maj
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Majel KarDova
Junior Adventurer
Junior Adventurer
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:21 pm
Location: RhyDin City

Re: The Islander

Post by Majel KarDova » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:05 pm

A swarthy-fleshed, tall man at the counter in the dim light of the old dockside tavern turned and narrowed a curious look at the one who had called his name. "Ahh. Martyn. What can I get you tonight?"

"Two pints of ale. Anything left from the noon-meal?"

Hank was drying a mug off and putting it on the counter when he the woman behind him. "You have a fire-borne following you, Martyn. You know that?"

"Oh, stop with that, Hank. She's no dragon. But she is fiery." He tossed a grin over his shoulder at Majel whose brow lifted curiously at the talk of fire-borne. "We'll be over there." He gestured to a booth across the room. "Don't mind him, Maj, my girl. He thinks everyone with red hair is cursed, born of a dragon, some kind of phoenix blood, or some other such craziness."

She smiled at the back of his head as she followed him. Packs were dropped on the floor next to the booth. She pushed them fully under the table and out of the way of their feet. The patchwork cloak was untied so she could shrug it off and let it fall about her on the bench seat she sat down, across from Martyn.

While they waited, his fingers moved in a sign language that few knew. It was not from the lands and even those who knew it guarded it very well -- not teaching to anyone unless there was a specific, particular need to. The movement of his hand made it look like he was idly "drawing" on the surface of the table while he spoke aloud. "How many years is that, now, hmm? Since I last saw you, Maj?"
=I= Two by the door. Eyes and ears for the dens. =I=

Majel just seemed to like to talk with her hands, while she spoke aloud. But comment and more were conveyed mutely to him as she answered him aloud. "Wells, let see. Is it fifteen or sixteen years by now? I think." She grinned and gave him a wink.
=I= This far south? Still stealing the Artifacts? =I=

Before he could answer, Hank was clunking down pints of ale, causing a bit to slosh over the sides from each one of them without care. Two plates, heaped high with meat, chunks of baked potato and a half loaf a bread. Martyn handed him a few coins and Hank eyed them then grinned before wandering back to the bar.

"He seems a friendly enough guy." Majel wanted to see the best in everyone. Most times she did, but sometimes she had to ask just to be certain. Some wore pleasant masks in public while holding daggers behind their backs.
=I=The dens. Are they stealing the Artifacts? =I=

"Who, Hank? He's a royal's sort of pain in my ass, but he's of good people. Gets me a pint every time I pay for one!" Martyn laughed aloud at the little joke he made. Quite pleased with himself, in fact.
=I=No. But they are hunting for them. You know they can't do anything without all of them. They're useless -- =I=

=I= Watchers. =I=
Majel warned, cutting him off. Neither of them needed to look around. She had seen the two he had pointed out earlier. They looked their way a long moment before leaving their seats and headed for the door.
"Well, I'm glad to hear that he brings you drink...every time you pay for it." She made a face at him and the awful joke he had created.

"Now. Let's talk of maps and dragons, hmm?" The finger-wrought language was quieted for a while. They had a lot to talk about and he didn't know how long she would be around. Martyn leaned in against his side of the table, gathering his thoughts while chewing on the food. Much to tell and where to start?
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Majel "Maj" KarDova
"Do not worry. Everything has flaws, everything has cracks. How else would the light get in?" -Maj
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Majel KarDova
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Location: RhyDin City

Re: The Islander

Post by Majel KarDova » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:08 pm

Martyn waited until he heard the door of the tavern close before he relaxed. He could not be certain if any of the Watchers for the dens knew the rare sign language used by a rare number of people.

“How long have they been in the area, Martyn?” Majel scooted herself along the seat of the bench and positioned herself so that her back was against the wall and her legs were on the length of seat before her and crossed her boots at the ankles.

The room was watched beyond the boundary of the booth. Though she saw an old curtain was pulled to right, she didn’t pull it to give them privacy. It would call attention more than the vibrant color of her hair.

“Two weeks.” Martyn growled into his mug. Apparently, it was not going to be strong enough. He waved the only half-empty mug at Hank and clunked it down on the table. “Two bloody weeks.”

“Then they have a solid lead on finding one of the Artifacts.” The Islander murmured it under her breath, pondering it aloud.

“Or waiting for you.” Martyn eyed her thoughtfully.

Majel slid a look at him. “Whatever for?”

“Do you still have it? Come on, Maj…” He gave her a knowing look, giving her a waved word reflexively.
=Hunter Glass=

Her look was flat, disapproving but it was gone as soon as it had come. “Of course I do, but it will do no good without Urafae's Eye. And that…you know I don’t have.”

Martyn huffed out a sigh and nodded. The two-pronged fork stabbed metal against metal to pin the thick slice of meat and feed it to his mouth. He chewed on it a long time. Thinking. Listening. Then thinking some more. They both knew where the large, dark blue sapphire was, and they knew exactly who had it. It might as well have been on another – unreachable by any means – planet.

“Martyn…” Her tone was a warning, uttered with his name to pull him out of the quagmire of pour thinking. “There is no way I am accepting his offer. Married…to that louse?” Maj shivered and frowned at him. “Not for all of the gold in this grand world. That price is far too steep.”

“Not even a quick marriage? Get the Eye after that? Many a king and lord have fallen from cliffs, taken poison, tripped over the laces in a weapon’s room full of axes…well, anything sharp and pointy really...”

“Martyn!” She laughed so hard and loud that everyone in the tavern glared their way. Another bought of laughter and had to take a swallow of her drink to help drown out any more chuckling on her part.

“What?? Accidents do happen, you know!” He grinned and winked at her, then looked at Hank who was standing at the booth and refilling Martyn’s mug. When he wandered off to do the same for other tankards in the place, Martyn turned his grin back to Majel. He might have to come up with a plan. If not any of those, then something else!
___________________
Majel "Maj" KarDova
"Do not worry. Everything has flaws, everything has cracks. How else would the light get in?" -Maj
User avatar
Majel KarDova
Junior Adventurer
Junior Adventurer
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:21 pm
Location: RhyDin City

Re: The Islander

Post by Majel KarDova » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:40 pm

The food was half a day old and the bread took some effort to cut a few slices from. Majel expected that the latter was at least a couple of days old and had not been wrapped and stored well to keep its moisture. Whether she realized it or not, she mutely thanked all of the known gods and godlings that there was not mold or evidence that the rodents had bothered with it.

A slice of the stale bread was pushed int the thick stew, pushing around cuts of potato and carrots. Her other hand gently stabbed the two-prong fork to take a bit of potato and a scarce piece of beef. She chewed on them, took a bit of the bread and reached for the ale Hank had refilled for her a few minutes ago.

“Turon taught you well.” Martyn had made quick work of his meal, already finished and pushing bowl and plates back on the table enough to clear space for him to lean in against the table.

Majel lifted fine, crimson brows in question. She didn’t utter a sound with her mouthful and waited for him to clarify the comment. His fingers were seen to do little more than motion when he spoke.

“The Language.” He smiled a bit. It was obvious that he’d eaten his fill. The man across from her sighed a grunt and patted the table.

“KarDova are merchants.” As if that was enough to explain having knowledge of even one word of the Secret Drasnian Language. The striking red hair marked her a KarDova on the string of islands that had been called the Shattered Sword eons ago. She shoved long lengths of her hair over her right shoulder, unveiling an ear that was tapered to double points at the top of it. Not Elf, Fae, Drow, or any blood associated with them.

“My ass. Your father is smart to teach you different languages. Because you are merchants is only a small part of it. He taught you the stories of Urafae’s Eye, the cloud worlds, and the mud people?”

“He did.” She paused and narrowed her gilt gaze on him closely.

“Do you know that he taught you to speak it with your mother’s accent.”

Majel slowly placed the tankard on the table, bemused. “And how does one speak such a language…with an accent?”

“Now…I’m not teasing you, Maj. Not pulling your leg. But when you make the sign that you have ended your words, it’s with a little…twitch of your little finger.” He was smiling fondly to remember the woman he was speaking about. "Isa used to sign like that. It was how she was taught."

“I never knew that.” Golden gaze lowered to look at one of her pinkie fingers.

“How could you, girl?” He smiled and leaned back in his seat a bit. “She was an extraordinary woman. Did he tell you about her? All of the things about her?”

“No. Talking of her pained him. Greatly. But when he did, it was to speak of her fairness – not just her beauty, but how she treated others. All others.”

“That she was.” He watched her without a word for a long time before he continued. “You might have your father’s red hair, but you have your mother’s spirit.”

“Was she really a King’s daughter?”

Martyn started to chuckle. “Isa…a princess? There’s a fine thought!” He laughed some more and shook his head. “Gods no! She was his ward. Not his daughter.”

Majel smiled, purely from hearing how this old friend spoke among the memories of a mother she never knew. And to have her mother called Isa instead of Isahalya. Isahalya and no surname had ever been hers until she had married into the KarDova family. Majel glanced out to the common room of the tavern but eventually looked back his way.

“Are you done with that? It is late and I can get you a room so you can sleep. Tomorrow we’ll go to see the local man who has the talent for making a map for you.”

“Is it even possible? To acquire a good map of the capital?” Majel stacked the bowls and plates but stopped when he waved her to leave them. It seemed it was common practice there to leave them on the table to be taken care of later.

“You ask a near-impossible task, Majel. This is not the Shattered Sword islands. Little has changed on that string of rocks for ages. But here, the mainland changes…a lot. By whim of a magical hand or reclaiming, disinheriting, destroying or making of ground, buildings, structures…well.” He left the seat of the bench and watched her to the same. “I can at least get you something that’s a week or two old.”

“It will have to so. I can only hope that the Red Dragon is not destroyed or moved by the time I make it there.”

“I could find you someone here that could…spirit you there…” Martyn started to talk of ways of magic.

“Do not entertain that thought, old friend. You know I have always preferred to travel by boat, horse or by foot unless I absolutely have to do otherwise.”

The apparent dock hand frowned. Thoughts of the past were surfacing. He glanced at her scar but showed the past back down. Deep. “I know, Maj, my girl. I know. But it’s far faster than taking you another month or two to get there. Winter is here. The ground’s frozen and the weather is ridiculously unreliable going from sun and rain to grey and blizzards.”

“I’ll manage. And I have plenty,” She tapped one of the several leather compartments on her belt. “Surely there are villages and cities along the way, beyond this hamlet.”

“Of course there are.”

She drew the patchwork cloak about her and clasped it closed at her left shoulder. “Well then. Lead the way, old man. I need some sleep and a bath before morning breaks.” She grinned and pulled the door open before he could do the same for her.

“Old? Okay, little girl.” Scoffing though his eyes were alive with a grin. He could be heard laughing and spouting a few curses at her, all in good fun, as the door of the tavern there in Gull Haven closed behind them.
___________________
Majel "Maj" KarDova
"Do not worry. Everything has flaws, everything has cracks. How else would the light get in?" -Maj
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