• Memory • [Darbyton] Tall tales

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks and small villages of note.

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[Darbyton] Tall tales

Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:35 pm

24 Ymiden 717, evening - Cassion's Feast

"Ky, I want a story!"

Ky paused as she shook out the blanket to mark her family's patch of beach to sit for the night's feasting. "It's a good trial for a story." Sweet and savoury scents mingled on the air, but she had brought her feast contribution earlier. Now she stood caught by a circle of small children, most of whom she recognised from the lessons she'd helped with in Cylus and Ashan. She was laying the foundations to be able to get away from Darbyton and learn more, but Lyam had needed the help in the cold, when their hands seized up. Her reward had been to serve as scribe all morning to-trial, writing down the stories of those who needed help. She thought she had done all right, but her hand had cramped after a while.

She flipped the blanket down onto the sand. There was an irritated hiss, and a glass snake she hadn't noticed shot out from under the blanket and vanished off to a safer patch of beach, changing to match the sand it passed as it went.

"I want a story from you! You must know lots!" the small girl persisted. "You were a scribe! Lots and lots and lots of stories!"

"I suppose," Ky said, "but they aren't my stories to tell." She was going to be telling and listening to stories much of the night though, it was all part of the festival. She didn't see any reason not to start now. These were young enough to drop off to sleep early, they might as well get a story now. She took a seat on the blanket, and the children crowded round. "What sort of story do you want?"

"A story about ME!" the girl said importantly, nestling against Ky's side. Her name, Ky recalled, was Sinead.

"Very well, clear some space, and remember to leave room for Cassion to join. It's his feast-trial." Ky told the children, and waited until they shuffled back a bit. There was now a patch of sand that Ky could get at. "Once upon a time there was a girl called Sinead," she began, "and she went for a walk in the deep dark wood..." That was the easiest part. Ky wasn't much practised at making up whole stories instead of quick jokes, so she patterned this one on one she had read in one of Lyam's books. She dug her fingers into the sand of the beach, sculpting the shape of the story. Here was a winding path, and here were little mounds like the tops of trees. She walked her fingers down the path, but she'd made it too narrow, and she accidentally knocked lumps of sand off the sculpted trees. "Scary sounds echoed in the trees," she went on, "but Sinead was brave and marched on through the darkness, searching for the giant tree that grew all the way up to the clouds."

Beside her, Sinead's eyes shone and her chin came up proudly. "I found the tree!"

"Yes, you did!" Ky smoothed out the forest bumps and gathered sand into a cone like a tree trunk. "It was so big, so very big that her arms couldn't even reach more than a little way around it. But she found a low branch and started to climb." She walked her sandy fingers slowly up the cone tree. "And then at the top, she suddenly popped out, into a whole new land!"

The other children oohed and ahhhed over that, and Ky was peripherally aware of adults drawing closer to listen. She was too focused on getting the story right to look up and see who it was.

"The cloud forest was white underfoot,but when she stepped on it, she bounced. And bounced. And bounced some more, until she landed in a berry bush!" Ky flattened out the cone and drew ripple patterns in the sand instead. She bounced her fingers all over the patch of sand in demonstration of Sinead's movements. "The cloud berries were blue, and ripe, and sweet, but the more Sinead ate, the lighter she got until she floated out of the bush and up into the air. But then, as she was trying to learn to fly, a giant hawk came along and chased her until she landed in a bush full of ripe nuts. Sinead bravely threw one of the nuts at the hawk and it squawked and fled. Sinead felt the cloud berries wearing off as she sat there. She got heavier and heavier..." Ky looked down at the little girl leaned against her and saw a telltale thumb creeping into the girl's mouth. "So heavy, weighed down by the nuts, that she fell down through the cloud and slid along a long sloping branch that ran right up to her bedroom window! So she sneaked in through the window and fell into bed, and her mother and father would have thought it was a dream - except that there were sky nuts in her bed too, and that proved it was real. The End."

Sinead beamed sleepily around her thumb. "I like my story. Tell it again sometime?"

Ky wasn't sure she'd remember all the details another time. "Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. Maybe, if you learn well, you can tell it yourself," she told the little girl.

The girl blinked at her and popped her thumb out for a moment. "You tell it better than me."

Ky tried to smile, but it came out closer to a grimace. She covered it by leaning forward to smooth out her attempts at scupting and drawing, so that the next storyteller had a clean slate to work off. In the light from the fires she saw Lyam watching her. They gave her an approving nod and a smile, and from them Ky was willing to take that as the high praise it was. She returned the smile, more genuinely this time, and parents began appearing out of the dark to claim their children and thank her for keeping them occupied and safely out of the way.

Ky nodded acknowledgements, because this kind of thing might well be her long term job if she ever escaped Darbyton long enough to learn what she needed. She didn't take it as praise though. It rasped on the sore places of her heart that the parents might think her good enough and kind enough and smart enough to care for children, when she knew full well that they didn't think her pretty enough to wed any of the folk her own age, or have children of her own.

At least books didn't hate her or hurt her that way.
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Re: [Darbyton] Tall tales

Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:56 am

Review Rewards

Name Ky The Bard

Points awarded: 10

Storytelling: adapting the tale to the audience
Storytelling: using sand to illustrate the story
Storytelling: patterning a new tale after an old one
Etiquette: accepting thanks and praise
Caregiving: occupying children by telling stories
Socialisation: drawing out what someone wants from you

Non-Skill Knowledge:
Sinead: little girl in Darbyton
Cassion's Trial: a feast of stories

Renown: 5 points, for being known as the local babysitter/storyteller

Goddamn, woman. Way to nail me in the feelz with the very last sentence! This was short and mostly sweet, until I got to that last line. Wow... really is more going on with Ky than you'd think, isn't there?

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word count: 176
"This is the life we choose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see Heaven."
NOTE: Kasoria is using the name "Thagoras" while in Eastern Idalos, from Zi'da 717 onwards
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