• Closed • Friends & Teachers

Pepper meets Vega & Arlo for dreamwalking lessons

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Vega
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Wed May 09, 2018 10:59 am

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Vega remained quiet while Arlo explained, best he could. This young woman wanted answers before she knew what the questions truly were and it might well be just being young and evidently not that bright, but she was maybe three arcs younger than Arlo. He'd already been travelling on his own, or just about to by the time he was her age and Vega was coming more and more to the inexorable conclusion that this was a spoilt brat. But, it was important to Arlo, and she'd been one of those once, Vega considered. Ironically, Pepper was closer to Arlo's age, probably, than Vega was.

Still.

She just kept quiet, let him teach the best way he could. Then, she looked down in surprise as his hand found hers under the table and Vega entwined her fingers with his. Was he worried she was about to blow up and embarrass him, she wondered? Squeezing his hand to reassure him that he had nothing to worry about on that score, she leaned against him and just listened to them talk. It was good practice, she figured, because normally she was the mouth on a pair of freckled legs. He did a great job of explaining, best he could, but not giving her the answers. Because he couldn't - he could only give her his answers. Hers might be different. Every dreamer, every dream was, after all. Each one of them different.

But then, Arlo turned and whispered in her ear and Vega glanced at him. There was no need for that to happen on her account, although she had to admit that she was glad that Lyova had stepped in. Because by now, the girl was back to the googly-eyes and fumbling over things. She looked maybe fifteen, Vega thought, but she was acting like she was nine arcs old. Or what Vega understood by such, anyhow. At fifteen, more than a lot of people were married, having children. She was not a child.

Vega considered herself a patient woman, or more precisely, she knew she really wasn't one but she did her best. More than anything, she had no time for pity-ditties, as she called them, nor for manipulation. So at the wide, tear-filled eyes and trembling words, Vega was stormingly unimpressed. Yet, this young woman who was so determined that she was old enough to be an adult, doing adult things, asked if she should leave in a trembling little voice and that was it, Vega could keep quiet no longer.

Miret had told her she'd been rude, she didn't mean to ignore Vega and focus on Arlo but she didn't know why and should she leave? Vega wanted to help this young woman, she really did. But to the redhead's mind, the only way to help her was to not coddle her. So, when she spoke her voice was gentle, friendly but she wasn't messing around any, either. "Well, it's good that Miret's got an opinion, but what's yours?" Arlo knew Vega far too well to think she was being anything but very restrained. If Pepper had the victim complex she seemed to be displaying, well, that was what it was. "An' you know, it's alrigh', he's well put together an' easy on the eyes, my fella." Her hand in Arlo's squeezed gently. She hadn't even emphasised the word 'my' in there, so she was bordering on proud of herself. "An' added to that, he's got the whole traveller, seen the world, 'ad a ton of adventures, is two or three arcs older than you so close to your age," unlike her who was probably a good six arcs older than Pepper. "an' he's Jesine's too, so you're starin' at 'im an' fixatin', it's a'right. It's rude, but it's a'right. But," and of course, there was a but because there was a simple truth to Vega's eyes. "But if you want to be treated like an adult, if you do somethin' rude then the thing to do is own it, put it righ', an' accept that the person in question migh' be upset, not you. No need for you to make it about you, love, it isn't." Maybe she was young, but she wasn't seven - and that meant that, in Vega's eyes at least, that the big tear filled eyes and quivering voice were, or very much should be, a thing of the past.

Vega had no idea what either diri was saying, nor did she want to. What she knew was that, thus far, everything had been all about Pepper. In the dream it had been tell me, show me, I must and now it was the same. "Like I said to you in the dream; as a dreamwalker, it's not about you. Same's true in life. If you make a mistake, jus' put it righ' an' move on. No need to create a drama." She motioned down to the book then, and gave a slight smile. "An' just like life, no one's gonna give you a manual for dreamwalkin', cos each person's experience is different. Arlo's offered to help you an' I'm sure he will, but at the end of the trial, as an adult talkin' to an adult, no one will be doin' you any favours if we don't be 'onest with you. So, if you wanna leave, that's up to you, but that isn't the way to deal with somethin', far as I can see." Vega shrugged slightly and looked at Pepper with a half smile. "But then, I'm a mostly obnoxious redhead who says it like I see it. It doesn't earn me lots of friends, but I don't want any that need me to lie to them, or coddle them, that isn't what friendship, or teaching, is to me. It's honesty, challenge an' loyalty, thinkin' about the other person an' their feelin's, not fixatin' on your own. But mostly, I'm the brawn. He's the brains of the pair, an' when we need someone to be nice, vaguely diplomatic or whatever, I've got him." Glancing at Arlo with a smile she added, "which probably means we're stuffed, you know."

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Arlo Creede
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Fri May 11, 2018 4:18 pm

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The six degrees of separation, Arlo would have explained had Pepper asked, was a concept that referred specifically to origins and ancestral connections. In a roomful of a hundred individuals, a large portion of them would share a common ancestor, a grandfather, a cousin and so on. Six degrees of separation, much like the picture Pepper had drawn of Emea made up of countless dream bubbles filled with their individual dreamers, that now and then, overlapped to some extent. In that way, as a dreamwalker, in time she might discover two familiar dreamers showing up in each other's dreams. The same for locations, pets and so on.

She'd learn in time though, and that's what it would take. Time and experience. "There's no manual for dreamwalking," he said. "And it's better there's not. A book of rules would limit a dreamwalker and possibly do more harm than good. Your diri is there to guide you, to protect you and instruct you. But even she'll allow you to make mistakes, maybe even cause you to make them. If she's doing her job right, she will," he said, smiling as he recalled all the times that Lyova let him stumble or even went so far as to trip him up on purpose.

"If you make a mistake and you've got a book of notes to refer to, you won't think creatively, you won't reach outside of the lines. And as often as not, that's what needed. A child never learns to walk on their own if a parent is always lifting them up and holding them upright." After all, he'd never had even thought to consider winding back time itself in order to undo a mistake that he'd made, and a big one. A page full of notes wouldn't have done him a lick of good, and yet he'd done it.

As for her apology then, while Arlo couldn't hear the other side of Lyova's conversation with Miret, he could only assume that Pepper had been given a mental prod. The apology was more rightly directed towards Vega rather than him. Just as the decision about anyone leaving ought to be. He only needed in response, uttered a quick thank you, but mostly directed his attention towards Vega as he squeezed her hand in his. Lyova, however, wasn't finished. She might have been, but some things needed answering and though she rarely did it, she made sure that not even Arlo heard her. Just Miret.

It took him by surprise, the sudden silence in his head, but Arlo couldn't have been prouder of Vega and the way she handled things. Immortal's, he loved her. And there was hardly a thing he could add that would make anything any plainer. "There's only so much another dreamwalker can help you with Pepper. So much of it is learning to stand and navigate Emea on your own with your diri's guidance. If I've helped any though, I'm glad. You'll do well. Give it time. Maybe it is time we went though...Places to be," he added, looking back at with a smile. Lyova however wasn't having it until she was good and ready.

"Well that's your first mistake," Lyova pointed out, her own eyes narrowed in response. "Being a child and acting a child are very different things. She's, what, fifteen? Arlo was out on his own by then. Most young men are. And maybe some trial girls will wait till they're longer in the tooth...like twenty or something to get married and have babies, but these trials she could as easily be called an old maid at her age. She's not a child, and she's old enough to know that oogling somebody in front of their other is rude. I didn't say anything about suspicious either. Not to you and they didn't either. They'd have to be blind and stupid not to notice her fixation, and as for manners, they've been polite enough not to mention it."

And just like that, Lyova's presence in Arlo's mind was as keenly felt as ever. It was another startling realization, just as the absence had been. He could only imagine though what might have been going on. He wasn't going to ask, and she wouldn't have told him anyway. But as for the rest? Like he'd said before, maybe it was time for him and Vega to go.
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Pepper
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Tue May 15, 2018 11:43 pm

87 of Ashan, 718
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Arlo responded to Pepper's apparently poorly hidden disappointment with an explanation about why dreamwalking and manuals didn't go together. This made a lot more sense to her, she could understand that rules could indeed limit creativity, and if there wasn't a clear progression, then it made sense that each dreamer's journey would take a different path, and different times to reach even the same common milestones. She nodded a lot more enthusiastically at the close of it. That makes a lot of sense. So dreamwalking is more suitable for practice and exploration, and my diri would be able to stop me before anything truly serious that couldn't be corrected happened. She sighed a bit in relief, Miret says she would know, but when I asked her questions about the theory and the rules she couldn't answer, so I suppose I kinda wondered if she was new to it as well.. She sent a quick mental apology to Miret for entertaining any doubt on that head, and received a smug I told you so. Don't doubt me again! mixed with mild outrage in return. I now understand it was more of a wouldn't be a good idea to go into all that.

When Pepper realised (albeit with a nudge from Miret) that she had been acting a lot like Sylvie had, that this strange mixture of nervousness, awkwardness, fascinated interest and uncharacteristic bashfulness was what had the village girls, and admittedly some boys too, making fools of themselves... It wasn't to be borne. She had watched many girls act like absolute idiots over boys, even men, and for all that she prided herself on being sympathetic, she'd just felt a bemused disgust at them. How could they allow themselves to lose all sense? Was giggling idiotically supposed to impress anyone? Was everyone supposed to actually pretend that the young couples just met by happen-stance every few days in the woods or other out of the way places? And how was stuttering or talking too much or gazing adoringly at someone going to make them like you? And why did they even want to get into the whole mess in the first place? A few seasons later, four times out of five, the girls who had been the most love-drunk were the ones complaining the most bitterly. Upon this one topic, Pepper had felt beyond grateful that her family still treated her like a child, and been perfectly happy to pretend she never noticed any of such goings on.

So the mixture of self-consciousness, self-disgust, embarrassment and the humbling realization that she wasn't a whole lot better had temporarily scrambled every bit of self-assurance and emotional equilibrium she had laid claim to. Adding the bit where she had been acting like one of those love-sick teens in front of an all but married older couple.. and mooning after a 'taken' man to boot.. She felt fit to sink through the ground, preferably as soon as it could be managed. So even as one part of her had burned with embarrassment, another had insisted that she attempt an apology, even if she made a hash of it. She knew from experience that delaying such things only made them even harder. And thus her muddled bit of an 'apology'

Miret just told me I've been very rude.. I.. I've been ignoring you and mostly been paying attention to you.. She forced herself to meet Vega's and then Arlo's gaze. I'm sorry.. I didn't mean to do that.. I don't know why.. She hadn't realised it but apparently the clogged throat had also shown itself in watering eyes.

Vega's calm, matter of fact, but still gentle response acted as well as a dunking in cold water though, it wasn't really an apology if the other party didn't see it as such. Also perhaps she was being selfish.. though that was hard to understand too.. She'd worry about teasing out the why part of it later however. Any misunderstandings on Vega's or Arlo's part definitely had at least some initial fuel provided by her own behaviour and attitude. Pepper was almost entirely focused on what Vega was willing to say to her, a part of her brain doing its best to commit all of the nuanced whole to memory. She'd be spending time on analysing every part of it later, trying to figure out the justice in the statements and where she was lacking.

By the time Vega finished, Pepper's eyes were dry, and the knot in her throat had eased up. Vega was disappointed but it didn't seem like she was too angry with her, she must have misread the emotions earlier. Arlo's diplomatic comments which were clearly preparatory to them wanting to leave now, made her feel even more gauche in comparison, but Vega sounded like she'd appreciate straight talk. This wasn't unfixable.
So though Pepper's eyes were still pinched with distress, and her face paler than usual, her voice was no longer quivering.

I don't want to always remain a child. And I've already embarrassed myself enough that some more of it would hardly matter, so let me do the apology bit over, properly this time I hope. Squarely meeting Vega's not entirely unsympathetic gaze, she continued. I did not realise I was acting like a love sick fool till Miret clued me in. It's true that I did not mean any harm, and indeed I doubt I could cause any.. But that in no way excuses the rudeness. It must have been awkward and insulting at the very least and I'm very sorry for acting like that. There wasn't time to put her thoughts in order, but she'd make this one big effort to get the apology, the explanations and everything out. She could survive one long monologue couldn't she.

Taking another breath she continued, I don't really know what my brain was thinking to be interested in Arlo, and it doesn't matter except I guess now I know something about who it finds interesting.. she spared a quick apologetic glance towards Arlo and fired a quick Are you truly only sixteen or seventeen? I thought you'd be at least twenty if not older.. before shaking her head to bring herself back to the conversation with Vega. Not that either of your age matters either. I clearly knew you both were a couple, but.. Pepper just ended up shrugging helplessly, at a complete loss to explain the what or why of it.

I guess I can only hope I'd have come to my senses even without Miret's nudge once I figured out what was going on.. Anyway, I want to make it right.. but don't really know how to.. Here her voice regained a bit of her usual spirit, And I wasn't making it about myself at all! I couldn't help being upset too! I offered to leave coz I thought you'd be disgusted with the way I've apparently been carrying on.. and coz I couldn't see what I could do to fix it. Chewing her lips a bit in anxiety, she alternated looking at them both, It all sounds like excuses now doesn't it.. But I don't really want to be a coward and run away.. though it'd certainly be simpler.. and then just ended up mentally throwing up her hands. This may be one of those cases where she was just digging herself in deeper, Pepper had lost all objective ability to judge the situation by now, but she did need to say this last bit In any case, thanks for at least giving me the choice of being an adult or a child. I can't say I've understood every bit of that last of what you said, but I'll try to be more mindful about what someone else would feel. And do you really have to go?

Miret sighed by the end of Lyova's response. Maybe she need not have flared up quite so spectacularly either. Her sending was markedly subdued. Perhaps, you are right. Arlo may have been very responsible and adult like at fifteen.. and she's recently turned fourteen true.. but.. she sighed Her folks are somewhat strange.. She nodded respectfully at the other diri I already said they both have been polite.. so no real quarrel on that account. In any case, you did help me realise that Pepper and I both need to start taking what'd be expected of her into some account as well.. Please convey my gratefulness if you think it right to Arlo and Vega later, for being much more gentle on her than some could have been...
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Vega
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Wed May 16, 2018 6:13 pm

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When Pepper apologised again, Vega waved a hand. "It's a'right, don't worry bout it." Vega wasn't the type to hold a grudge. Or, more accurately she very much was but not in this instance. Besides, she gave a wicked grin at Arlo as Pepper said that she really didn't know what she was thinking, being interested in him. Then her incredulous gaze and query over his age caused Vega to turn a grin to Arlo. "You are lookin' quite haggered, you know," she teased, leaning against him. Then, with an apparently straight face she wondered, "It might be since you started hangin' about with me. Oh dear,"

Her hand was in Arlo's and when Pepper asked if they had to go, Vega couldn't honestly say who squeezed whose hand first. They both did, though, and it meant the same thing for both of them. "Yeah, I'm afraid we do. We didn't have long. Arlo's Papa. he gave me a puppy, an' we can't leave him long. He's still really young an' doesn't like bein' on his own too much." That was very true, although the awkwardness of the situation certainly made getting out of there a bit more attractive to. But still. Zyqat didn't do great at being alone for breaks at a time. "An' we've got to stop an' get some stuff for him too," she reminded Arlo with a smile.

They needed a collar and lead, she said to Pepper, from the leather shop and a better bowl for him too. "Honestly, it's like havin' a baby. As much work, too. Although," with a thoughtful frown, she looked at the two of them, "I don't think yer allowed put babies in a crate an' leave em at the camp till you get 'ome." No, probably not, she figured. Although, maybe people should consider it. "It'd be cheaper'n a babysitter, wouldn't it? Any'ow." Why was she talking about babies? Glancing at Arlo she grinned and then chuckled. "All jus' theoretical, I promise ya. Lets never find out aye? The bloody dog's enough trouble. Anyhow, right nice to meet you in the flesh, Pepper."

Standing and slipping her arm through Arlos as he stood, she smiled at the young woman. "An' you know, I'm sure we'll see you again. Here or there. Take care of yerself." To Arlo she contemplated, her mind obviously moving on to the next thing, the next place. "You know, I'm fairly sure I'm still owed some sort of showerin' with gifts. Bet you there's a candy shop here." Her gaze on him was wicked as she bade Pepper farewell.

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Arlo Creede
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Mon May 21, 2018 3:51 pm

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"Exactly," Arlo confirmed when Pepper acknowledged what he'd told her about dreamwalking and rule books. They simply didn't go together. There were the basic mechanics of it, certainly. But everything after that was personal and unique to the dreamwalker in question. No one walked in dreams in the way that he did, and the same was true concerning his ways and those of another. "Jesine wouldn't have blessed you with a diri that wasn't experienced enough or up to the job." Just because a diri didn't tell their charge everything, didn't mean she didn't know the answer. Lyova was a perfect example of that and her sometimes childlike demeanor was in stark contrast to just how knowledgeable and capable she was.

It was water under the bridge, he added when she apologized for her behavior, for ignoring Vega. Or at least, it was water under the bridge for him. Arlo tended not to dwell on things too long and in fact there were precious few times that he'd carried anything remotely similar to a grudge. Never would be inaccurate. Rare was more like it and certainly not in well meaning instances like this. "Arcs passing by doesn't make an adult," he figured and with a shrug. "Living life and collecting the wisdom that comes with it does." At any rate, there was nothing to make up for.

"It's no trouble," Lyova declared when Miret changed tacts. Wise Arlo's diri might be, but in some things her moods were quick changing. "Jesine knows what she's doing and doesn't pair up a diri with one of her favored at random. There are reasons for it even if we don't know what they are. It takes them time to know us, and for us to know them. There are bound to be misunderstandings along the way and hard choices to make." She in fact had needed to make a few of those herself, including knowingly breaking one of Jesine's cardinal rules for the sake of her own dreamwalker. If she had to go back, she'd do it again.

"Yeah, that's me, worn out and washed up," Arlo quipped with a grin, giving as good as he got when it came to trading barbs with Vega. It was part of the charm of the relationship when it came to him and her. "He's a menace," he added when Vega told Pepper about the pup they'd left temporarily in other hands. He was, a little, that pup. But that was part of his charm, though Arlo wasn't prepared to admit it just yet. But no. No babies. And yes, they really did need to go.

Standing up and placing a hand on the back of Vega's chair, he said, "It was nice meeting you Pepper. Like Vega says, we may cross paths again while we're here. Take care," he said before he and Vega left, and at the mention of candy and misidentified shops, he gently bumped her shoulder on their way out. Would she ever let him forget it?
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Doran Cooney
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Tue May 29, 2018 1:26 pm

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Pepper Farrow
Knowledges
Etiquette : Not answering questions directed to you is rude
Etiquette : A sincere apology goes a long way in mending matters
Dreamwalking : People who show up in dreams are often somehow connected in the waking world
Dreamwalking : There's no manual for dreamwalking
Dreamwalking : Trust that Miret will intervene when truly needed
Dreamwalking : Each dream walker's journey takes a different path
Dreamwalking : Emea is a vast vast realm, with a lot of complications
Research : Theories and analogies help create mental frameworks which aid in thinking
Dreamwalking : Creativity is key
Research : With some things, experimentation and exploration is the only way to learn

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Renown: N/A

Points 15
Eva "Vega" Lei'nox
Knowledges
Discipline: Not biting someone's head off.
Dreamwalking: Six degrees of separation
Dreamwalking: Lemonade analogy
Dreamwalking: Imagination is the most important tool
Dreamwalking: No manual for it.
Dreamwalking: Rules, guidelines and etiquette.
Socialization: Engaging in an awkward group conversation

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Renown: N/A

Points 15
Arlo Creede
Knowledges
Discipline: Not reacting
Dreamwalking: Six degrees of separation
Dreamwalking: Lemonade analogy
Dreamwalking: No manual for it.
Dreamwalking: Rules, guidelines and etiquette.
Dreamwalking: Imagination is the most important tool
Socialization: Engaging in an awkward group conversation
Storytelling: Teaching through story and example
Teaching: Giving advice

Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Renown: N/A

Points 15
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Really great portrayals of budding puppy-love, jealous insecurity, and confused dedication! Pepper's description of all the food in her basket was super great - I love food, so I really enjoyed that haha. Vega's cake spiel was so good. I have definitely heard similar things said at shops with different content, same purpose, ahah. As for the interactions, it was super petty and really well done. The diri argument was also enjoyable, and Arlo's calm but uncomfortable position was super relatable for anyone who's been in an awkward situation. Good job, all!
Please edit your grade request, thank you!
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