• Graded • [Memory]: The Silence Within

Faith's arrival in Andaris and induction by her new owner

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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Faith
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Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:02 pm

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"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from"
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross



Ymiden, 715:
In which Faith, having been purchased by Jamal, is brought to Andaris for the first time and begins to understand what her role will be here.[/center]

The journey here had passed in mostly darkness. Jamal, her new owner, had kept the carriage curtains pulled closed so that she did not see the world. She sat on the floor of the carriage, her new owner sitting on the bench and she kept quiet. He spoke to her now and then, instructing her in the rules of their relationship, the restrictions under which she must work and what he would expect of her. She listened, carefully noting what he said, knowing that it was important that she did not make him repeat himself. "I will continue your training. Famula teaches us to serve in life that we enter Her realm in peace. I will push you to every extreme that you have and beyond. I will hurt you and scar you and I do it in service to Her. You will not feel it, you will not believe it, but what I will do will be in service to you. Remember that in the trials to come" She looked up at him and for all her arcs of training, Faith's face showed surprise. He smiled at her; little did she know that it was the only time that he would smile for at least the next arc. "Believe it, little dove" he said and she lowered her head in thought.

What he said made sense, it was true. Her teachers in the Slave School had taught her many valuable lessons and they had done so at the expense of their own time. Jamal would train her, attempt to break her and in the attempting would make her stronger. He would ensure that, when Famula finally saw fit to take Faith into Her lantern, Faith would have served to the best of her abilities, to the utmost that she could. "You have questions. Ask them" he said and Faith looked at him, her silver eyes searching his face. "Why would you do this?" Jamal watched her face for a moment, and then he spoke "We are all strengthened in the service of Famula, Dove"[/i].

When they arrived, Faith saw an undertaker's shop. It was well appointed, clean and obviously meant to cater for the wealthier families of the deceased. Jamal stepped down from the carriage and she got busy bringing in his cases and boxes. There were lots of them and they were heavy, but she moved as quickly as she could. Then, she too the horses out the back and tended to them as well as she could, although her knowledge of such was very limited. Thankfully, he had a stable boy on hand and Faith simply worked to clean out the hay and carry the water. She was tired in her bones but she had no time for such, so she kept busy and she pushed past the tiredness.

When she had packed away all of his things, Jamal called her into the morgue area; the room currently had two bodies in there. "When I allow you to sleep, which is a privilege not a right, you sleep here" he said, pointing to the corner of the room where there was a space. There was no cot or blanket, but Faith did not ask and he did not offer. "You do not sleep tonight, Dove. Tonight you learn the beginning. There is a book there, with the basics of how to lay out a corpse. In the morning, both of these corpses will be clean, dressed, laid out and in their lined caskets or I will punish you. Now, cook my meal, prepare my bed and then, when you hear me snoring and not before, you may start." She nodded her head and dropped a curtesy to him "Yes, master" she said.

It appeared that it was time to get acquainted with Jamal's kitchen and his taste in food.
Last edited by Faith on Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

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Faith
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Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:06 pm

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Before she could get on with the job that had been assigned to her for the night, she had to make sure that Jamal was fed and his bed made. So, she made her way into the kitchen at his bidding and she started to find her way around the area where she would prepare his food. Considering the time and how tired he was likely to be, she looked for something that she could prepare quickly and that would be both warming and filling. So, firstly, she looked at what he had here and she was pleased to see that there were vegetables, ready and waiting for them. It must mean that he had more than just her here, at least there was someone who delivered food, as well as the stableboy. Faith quickly got to work, putting water on to boil and then peeling potatoes and chopping them into the pot, then chopping and frying off some onion in a heated skillet. Adding in some herbs, Faith pulled out a dish that would go into the oven. Straining the water from the potatoes, she mixed them and the herbed onions together, put them into the dish and grated a generous amount of cheese over the vegetables, which she mixed in and then covered and popped in to cook.

While that cooked, she explored the cupboards and found that there was a loaf of bread. That was good, she didn't have time to make any tonight. Normally, judging by the sack of flour here, she would be baking the bread, but instead she sliced what was here, gently toasting it and rubbing it with some garlic. Then, she lay the table for Jamal and after it was all cooked, she served him his meal. As she put the food down in front of him, he looked at her and nodded to his right side "While I eat, you kneel. Weight on your knees, kneel up and do not move. If you move, you will not eat afterwards" he said and she knelt next to him, immoving and eyes forward. By 'kneel up' she assumed he meant that she was not to rest her bottom on the backs of her heels, instead lifting herself so that she was straight. It was a painful position to hold for any length of time, but Faith was used to much more demanding physical tasks from her owner in Athart and so she stayed perfectly still, eyes cast down to the ground and fixed on a point there so that they did not move either.

And she discovered that Jamal ate more slowly than any other human she had ever met. And even when he had slowly, oh so slowly, eaten every morsel, used the bread to wipe the melted cheese and sat back to drink his wine, she did not move. She had been given an instruction and she would follow it; but eventually he spoke again. "When you have finished your task, you may eat. You eat only what is left in the dish." At which point he stood and put the dish down on the floor."Your hands do not touch it until you take it to wash it, at which point you may not eat any more." This was not something unusual to Faith, so she did not move, did not lift her eyes. He nodded, apparently pleased "Get up. Prepare my bed." And so she did. He instructed her to kneel up before the door until she heard him snoring then she could get up and start her task.

He ate slowly and he took his time to fall asleep. It was well over a break that she was kneeling there on already sore knees, but again she did not move and focused on one spot in front of her on the floor to ensure that her eyes did not wander. That was often a cause for losing balance, she knew. So, she kept focus on one place. And then, as Jamal's rattling snore filled the place, she stood, feeling her knees pop and she made her way to the corpse he had shown her earlier. There, indeed, there was a book which told her what she would have to do this night, and Faith lowered her head and started reading.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

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Faith
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Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:52 pm

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So, there she was. Her, a book and two corpses whilst her new owner snored in the next room. It was not exactly the sort of scenes that dreams were made of, but the young girl was bizarrely content with how things were. She had spent her entire life in Athart, so everything here was unusual and exotic to her. Jamal had told her that she would not be allowed out of the building until her training was nearly complete, so she would not meet anyone and would interact with no one other than him. Even the customers who came to the shop were off limits until he told her differently. She had not considered that this was a form of torture in and of itself, but instead she had bowed her head and intoned the 'yes master' that was a requirement.

Opening the book, she considered it carefully. Funerary rites and customs: preparing the dead. Apparently, what she had to do was done in three stages. Washing the body, anointing the body and dressing the body. That was fine, she committed that to memory and she started to work, carefully following each step. Firstly, washing the body. Stripping the two corpses, she collected water and started that process with the rags that were there for her. It was important, according to the book, that she washed every area and that each limb was dedicated to Famula. "I'm just going to wash you now. It's intended to wash away the stains of the mortal life that you have shed. Your form will be clean as your soul will be when Famula takes you into Her lantern. So, as I wash you, consider that I wash away the stains from your life, and prepare you to enter the embrace of the Immortal Famula" she whispered to the corpse. As she worked, she continued to speak to him, in hushed tones. "In Famula's name I clean away the dirt from your arms, from that which you have carried which weighed you down; greed and avarice, notions above your station or below it. For every action which was performed not in servitude, I wash you in Famula's name" Then, on to the legs, carefully and gently washing each one, whispering to him as she did "In Famula's name, I clean away the dirt from your legs. From those places you have walked where you did not belong, those steps you took which were not in servitude. I wash you in Famula's name" And once she had done both arms and both legs, she moved to his head, washing his hair and gently using a clean cloth to wash his face, carefully attending to his eyes, nose, mouth and ears. "In Famula's name, I clean your face. For every sight which led to envy or selfishness, for every word spoken not in servitude, for each thought, word and deed which have weighed you down, may Famula forgive you. I wash you in Famula's name"

Once both the corpses were washed, it was time to move on to the anointing. This, Faith read carefully and then read again. Ignoring the pangs of hunger that she felt, she moved to collect up the series of small pots, herbs and salves that she needed to apply the next stage.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

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Faith
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Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:28 pm

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Now that the bodies were washed, Faith had to anoint them. First, according to the book, she had to place a small cone of incense at the feet of both bodies, so she placed a small ceramic plate with a disk of charcoal on each, sprinkling some frankincense on the charcoal after she had lit them. With the sweet and beautiful scent starting to permeate the room, she got the bottle of oil fragranced with aloe and cassia. Holding the oil over the smoke from the incense, she whispered the prayer to Famula that she had read "In Famula's name, let this oil anoint the dead and lead them into Famula's lantern. May it light the way for those whose life has ended." she whispered and then she moved to the corpses. Anointing them each individually, she placed a drop of oil on forehead, eyes and mouth. "No thoughts, no sight, no words. Only Famula's embrace" and then each hand and foot "Neither holding or releasing, not moving nor standing still, all that you are now held in Famula's warmth" Finally, a circle over their heart "No love or hate, no envy or greed. At the stopping of your heart, may you know only servitude, in Famula's name".

The anointing done, she moved to the pile of clothes for the two of them. Cut down the back, she carefully dressed them, putting the clothes on gently and reverently, then sewing them up the back. After that, all that she had left to do was to put them in the coffin, and use the material to line it. The sewing was a simple running stitch, and some cross stitch and blanket stitching. First, make the lower lining, making sure to include a pillow on the top that the deceased's head would rest on. That done, she made the panels to line the sides, which had to be attached with a fine glue, and then the best of the white cotton was cut into shape, blanket stitched around the edges and then, when she had carried the corpses and placed them in to their boxes, she lay out the top cotton sheet, making it seem that the corpse was nestled in there, comfortably. She checked and double checked everything and, only once she was completely happy did she move to eat the food that Jamal had left her. She ate it as instructed, then washed the dishes, put everything away neatly and finally fell asleep for a few breaks.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

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Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:06 pm

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Faith


Knowledge:
Basic
Slavery: Jamal’s expectations
The rules of Jamal’s house
Cleaning: Dishes
Nickname: Little Dove
Cooking: Adding flavour with herbs
Jamal: Snores
How to use a water pump
Specific
How to dress a dead body
How to wash a dead body
Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Fame: N/A

Story: 4/5
Collaboration: 0/5
Structure: 4/5

Comment: Overall this was a great little story, you have characterised Jamal very well, to the point where he actually gives me the creeps! Great job.
Story: Repeated ideas, the slow eating, the sleeping habits, etc. Some structural issues with dialog made it tricky to find where I was in the story.
Structure: I like the way you use action to show who is speaking. A good tip keep in mind is that each time someone new speaks, start on a new line.
Example:
"You have questions. Ask them" he said and Faith looked at him, her silver eyes searching his face.
"Why would you do this?"
Jamal watched her face for a moment, and then he spoke "We are all strengthened in the service of Famula, Dove.

Try to make sure all of your coding tags are closed for italics.
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