• Solo • The Wheel

Starter Quest

Outside the city there are many places of interest to be explored.

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Nam'id
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The Wheel

Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:30 pm

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Ogun Itọjus
12 Cylus, Arc 720

The morning's sun was low in the sky and such a thing was perfect for new beginnings. Nam'id gripped a leather pack over his shoulder. It had been filled with a fine selection of beans, both dried and fresh fruits and berries, as well as his old yet functional collection of journals.

He had been in town for far too long this time. The comfort of home had lulled him into basking in the warmth of the familiar. He had forgotten the need, his need, to be back in the unfamiliarity of unknown trails and roads. There were new places to see and people to meet. His shouldn't have allowed himself to be denied of what his curiosity usually demanded: the open road. It would be best to leave soon.

He held his bedroll in his hand, its down-filled leather beaten and lumpy over arcs of use. He had contemplated getting a new one. Surely his mother, in her infinite support and violent generosity, would have been willing to stitch him a new one. All he would have to do was ask. Yet he didn't. She was, after all, an elder in the small village of Ogun Itọjus, a fact that its inhabitants never let her forget. As far as Nam'id was concerned, they needed her more than he.

He stopped and reached into his pack as he reached the foot of his wagon. He pulled the journals out and locked them carefully into one of twin oaken strongboxes secured to the rear of the conestoga. The rest of the supplies were deposited in the bed, though a single apple fell out and picked up speed as it rolled to the other side.

Nam'id's eyes narrowed as he watched the apple roll away. That shouldn't have happened. He had helped Hish'oon, one of the tribe's better craftsmen, build this wagon when he was younger and knew how well it was balanced. Also, he had learned long ago to secure his wagon on level ground, lest he find himself chasing it the following morning. Learned the hard way, though he didn't wish to dwell on that story this morning.

He walked around to the other side and knelt down by the wheel underneath the driver's seat. He sighed as his heart sank. The wheel had been broken, its connection to the wagon's axle bent beyond use. The wagon sat at a terrible slant without it.

Oooh… That's not good, came a voice from inside of his head.

Nam'id looked up to see the wispy head of Moaxatl'otatsu, his monkey Ose-bori, poke out from inside of the wagon. Its tail moved around snake-like behind its head.

No, Mox. It isn't, Nam'id thought in response. He sifted through a pile of broken wood pieces left on the ground.

Mox hopped down from the wagon and came to a sitting position beside the man. It poked at the broken wheel with a smokey finger, then turned its head to look at the underside of the wagon.

So we walk, yes? This is much better. On foot. Just as Moseke intended.

Nam'id looked over at Mox with a raised eyebrow. Easy for you. You can't carry any of the supplies, he thought. The familiar looked about to protest, but its gaze shifted behind the man.

One comes…

Nam'id stood and turned to see Chiko'tae walking towards him. The man was powerfully built, his lean arms tattooed and exposed to the morning sun. He had a feather poking up from behind his head. His black hair was left loose around his shoulder. His dark eyes were trained on Nam'id. He waved in greeting, and Nam'id returned the gesture.

"Good morning," Chiko'tae said in Xanthean before coming to a stop and looking down at the wheel. "A wagon without a wheel. It will be hard to leave."

After reading the man's mouth as he spoke, Nam'id reached into his shirt and produced a heavily worn journal and a thin piece of charred wood. He flipped through a number of pages, found one, then began scrawling onto it. He then lifted the journal to show it to the other man.

Not hard. Just delayed. It can be fixed.
Nam'id smiled at the man and moved to the side to allow Chiko'tae a better look.

"I would help you," he said, "but this isn't my skill. You understand."

Nam'id smiled and nodded in agreement.

Chiko'tae placed a powerful hand atop Nam'id's shoulder. "Let Hish'oon fix it. This is one of his wagon's, yes?" Nam'id nodded again. "Good. He owes me a favor or two. We haven't talked much, Nam'id. Well, you haven't had to listen to- er... watch me talk." Chiko'tae smiled, though there was a certain warmth missing from the gesture. "Maybe we could spar? One last time before you leave?"

The misty-gray form of Mox came around to the side and looked up at Chiko'tae.

I don't like this one.

He is of the village. Like a brother, Mox. What's not to like? he thought, but received no response.

He wrote into his journal again before showing it to Chiko'tae.

Not hard. Just delayed. It can be fixed.

Lead the way.

Nam'id.
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Nam'id
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Re: The Wheel

Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:34 pm

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Hard dirt crunched under thick calloused feet as Nam'id followed Chiko'tae further into the village. A few of their fellow tribesmen stopped and waved as they passed. In turn they returned the waves, but they did not slow.

Chiko'tae rounded the corner of a ramshackle hut. They had played in that building when they were younger. Or, at least, Chiko'tae and his group had. Nam'id had always longed to be part of that group. He would chase the other children and pine for their attention. However, he had never gotten it. As a deaf child he was always an outsider. And Chiko'tae's group was harder than most to infiltrate.

"You've been quite the talk since you returned, Nam'id," said the larger, leaner Sevir. He turned and walked backwards so that his lips could be read. "I always thought that people's fascination with you would die off after a few arcs. But it hasn't. Everyone seems enthralled with the story about the boy who found his Ose-bori at such a young age."

Nam'id knew of the fame that his journey had brought him. He had, in fact, found his Ose-bori younger than many others in the village. He didn't know how rare this was for all of Moseke's people. But the irregularity of it in his tribe had left him as a myth of sorts. He was not indifferent to this: with his slight fame came the respect that he had always sought when he was younger. Growing, his tribe had always seen him as a frail youth with a disability. Now, he was just Nam'id. It wasn't worldly fame, but it was enough.

"Nam'id the hero?" he asked, his brow furrowed. "Is that why you leave for trials and seasons at a time? To keep the myth and mystery fresh?" He turned back around and continued as his pace quickened. Nam'id felt as though the young warrior was still talking. He had no way of knowing for sure.

There is a darkness to this one. I don' think he is so happy with you.


Nam'id shrugged. They rounded another corner and stopped at the side of a building in greater shape than many others in the village. This was Chiko'tae's father's store. Neither of them needed to go inside to know that the store housed fine pelts, as well as meats, both cured and jerked. Great heads and horns from many animals adorned every available interior wall space. A testament to the man's mastery over the forest. The village considered Chiko'tae's father, Tel'nua, their greatest hunter. Tel'nua did as well. He, like his son, enjoyed his own fame within the tribe.

Against the building's outside wall sat a rough-hewn chest. Chiko'tae knelt in front of it and pulled its lid open. He retrieved a pair of wooden practice swords, spinning one in his hand. He stood and tossed the other to Nam'id.

Nam'id tried to receive the wooden weapon, but was clumsy with the catch. It fell to the ground.

Nam'id's heart sank. The adults of the village, including his father, had never trained him in swordplay. Another side-effect to the over-protectiveness he had endured when he was younger. Chiko'tae would notice his unfamiliarity with the weapon quickly.

He bent over and retrieved the sword. From the corner of his eye, he saw Chiko'tae rushing towards him, his practice sword raised and ready to deal a blow.

Nam'id fell to the ground and raised his own sword out in defense. His breath quickened as he prepared to deflect the strike. He squeezed his eyes shut in preparation, but the blow never came.

He opened his eyes and saw Chiko'tae laugh while saying something to a group of tribesman that had gathered to watch the spar. His face was turned away, his words indecipherable. The intent was clear, however, as Chiko'tae pointed his sword down at Nam'id and mouthed the word "hero". Nam'id didn't need to be able to hear to feel the disdain in the warrior's words.

Nam'id stood back up, facing off against the larger, more muscular Sevir. He raised his sword, and nodded, inviting Chiko'tae to try again.

I don' know. This isn't such a good idea…

Then don't watch, Mox, though Nam'id.

Don' watch? I cannot look away…
Mox rounded the area and came to a stop at the side of the two men. He raised up on short legs, looking back and forth between the two. He may not be be nice, but look at 'im. We are okay, as far as these things go, but this one is magnificent!

Chiko'tae looked to over to the Nam'id, a slight curl appearing at his mouth. He nodded his head and then rushed forward.

Nam'id watched as the other man's sword arced sideways through the air. Nam'id knew the pain that would come from the blow. And were he lucky enough to deflect it, another would come regardless. There was no question about which of them was the more skillful warrior. Chiko'tae had trained in swordplay for arcs.

Nam'id dropped his weapon and turned at his waist. With a deft hand he grabbed Chiko'tae by the wrist and pulled the larger main over his left hip. Chiko'tae flipped head over heels and dropped to the ground. Dust billowed up around his prone body.

Chiko'tae looked up in obvious frustration. The audience appeared to be more enthusiastic about this turn of events, which appeared to anger him even further. He wrapped his legs around Nam'id's and turned, dropping him and leaving them on the ground, side by side. He struck Nam'id in the back with a hard elbow before pushing the man away and returning to his feet.

Nam'id shot up and spun in time to catch a fist to the jaw, sending him back to the ground again. He could see as Chiko'tae's smile returned. He stood over Nam'id with his arms crossed. Smug. Nam'id didn't like that either.

Nam'id grabbed a fist full of dirt, throwing it at the man's face and obscuring his sight. He sprung forward, hugging Chiko'tae around the waist and tackling him to the ground.

Fists flew from each of the men in a cloud of swirling dust and testosterone. Only once their breaths were short and their resolve had departed did the storm of fighting die down. They laid there for a quiet moment before sitting up. The crowd had dispersed. Mox remained, shaking is head in shame.

Hmph. Children. Mox turned around, dissipating into the air as he ran off.

Nam'id looked over at Chiko'tae, exhausted. The other man stared back, wiping his forearm across his bloody mouth. Nam'id refused to wipe the blood he felt dripping from a cut above his eye. It would blacken soon, he knew. It would also be hard to eat with what would be a fat lip the next trial.

"I won't help you fix your wagon, but I will teach you to fight better, yes?"

Nam'id nodded in agreement.

Nam'id.
Last edited by Nam'id on Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1264
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Nam'id
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Re: The Wheel

Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:33 am

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Ogun Itọjus
Evening

Hish'oon dropped to a knee as he inspected the broken wheel. He grumbled to himself in anger. Another hard trial finished by beginning more work. He had painstakingly reinforced the supports to the bridge over the eastern creek. Then spent a break or two fixing old Mairu's front door. At this point in the evening he would have preferred to be in bed.

Of course Tel'nua had strong-armed him into it. The tribe's most respected hunter had a way with words, and had made it clear that he needed Hish'oon to tend to the broken wagon. A little at least, he said. Don't spend too much time on it, he said.

So here he was, under the moon's light, inspecting Nam'id's wagon. He wasn't sure why the young man needed to leave the village again, and so soon, but-

hoot hoot

Hish'oon looked up at the noise in the dark. There was something in the sound that made his spine tingle. He felt as if he was being watched.

He looked back down at the wheel as he heard a rustling coming from the brush nearby. He shot up to his feet.

"Who's there?" he asked the darkness. He waited, but received no answer. Noises in the dark are normal, he thought. In fact, it was hard to consider any forest noises strange. Yet something here was strange. Something unexpected. Something not quite right.

He tried to look deep into the forest, but a wall of darkness surrounded him. His sight couldn't break through.

A quiet moment passed and he knelt back down. He was being silly of course. Silly old Hish'oon, he thought, afraid of the dark. He reached out and ran his hand around and down the broken wheel. He leaned forward and looked up at the axle, holding himself up from one of the wheel's spokes. A slight breeze brushed against his back and he froze. Was that a voice?

"Hello?" he asked again, leaning back. Again, no answer. He looked around one more time before he stood up. He placed his hand on the wagon, looking up for the owl he sure had been there only a moment before. He shivered at the darkness.

Gathering himself, he headed home. It was too late, of course. That is all. He wasn't afraid of the dark. But he had heard it, hadn't he? A voice? No, it had to have been his imagination. Too late, yes. It was too late.

For the rest of the night, Hish'oon refused to think about that broken wheel.

Nam'id.
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Azrael
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Contribution

Re: The Wheel

Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:21 pm

☠ The Wheel☠

☠ ======== ☠ ======== ☠ ======== ☠ ======== ☠

Points awarded: 10

Knowledge: Combat: Da'riya - Using one's center of gravity
Combat: Da'riya - An unfamiliar weapon only gets in the way
Combat: Da'riya - Using an opponent's momentum against them
Combat: Da'riya - If an opponent can't see, they can't fight (well)
Combat: Da'riya - Even weak punches can hurt
Endurance - Taking a punch

Renown: +5 for fighting a bully

Injuries: Various scrapes and bruises, should be healed in a few trial.

Skill Play: Mostly to level, I think that he disarmed a superior sword fighter rather easily for a novice but otherwise everything seemed to level.

Notes: I enjoyed this thread! I really liked the relationship between Nam’id and the bully who tried to make an example of him and I’m interested in where it is going to go from here.

I would caution against doing long posts from solely the perspective of NPCs as the threads should maintain focus on Nam’id, however I did enjoy the way that it set up a sort of looming threat. Who broke the wheel???

Great job, enjoy your rewards!

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Sesser Mark

  • Transformer's Toolbox [Minor]: Azrael can make superficial changes to his appearance (hair, nails, skin, eye, and voice.)
  • Ever Alluring I: Azrael seems to endure harsh conditions better than others and everyone, despite sexual orientation, is just a bit curious what he would be like in bed.

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