• Completed • [Cyrene Bay] Girls Gotta Make a Living

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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[Cyrene Bay] Girls Gotta Make a Living

8 Ashan, Arc 716


"Oh Chrien she did go wild with rage
A'grieving for her mother
Immortal heart it couldn't cage
Feelings what wouldn't smother

And she drowned our mothers and she drowned our fathers
A'pulled them deep and down
So full of hate, at dead Feis fate
That none dared leave the towns

And she twisted the corpses and made 'em anew
Brought back as sharp-toothed Mer
but she weren't pleased and they'd not do
Her hate they too incurred

And she'd have brought us all back
All finned, twisted and tailed
Were it not for good U'freks attack
When all else who tried had failed

He pulled us back up
Right from the cusp
And breathed back the life to our lungs
And we pledged as his daughters and sons

So sail your ship and steer it proud
And fear not the stormy sea
Upon our decks theres none can cow
We don't care if they disagree

Cause we're Biqaj born upon the waves
And here we're no mans slaves
Y'can fight if y'like,
all th'way to Chriens embrace
deep in a watery grave!"


Nivasis voice called out over the sound of waves and spray, keeping time as she hauled in her net. No great artiste she, her voice was only ever heard here, upon her own ship. It was rough and uncultured, but then, this was no delicate song. It was a sea shanty sung by Biqaj as they worked or drank. Or both.

"Hoyah! I may get to keep you yet Bravi'os."

She exclaimed with joy as her efforts were rewarded by the net reaching surface. Some stray fish of other types, but it looked as if she'd cast into a school of Halibut. It was the right time of year for them, and the waters around Rynmere were the right temperature. The ugly, flat, almost rhomboid fish usually sold well, and why not, it was good for cooking, fresh, smoked or salted. There were none of the true giants, but since her current net likely couldn't have held them anyway, this was fine. There were some of decent enough size.

Which left her with a decision.

They'd need to be cleaned immediately either way. She could either smoke them and keep fishing, or cut it short and head back to the bay to sell her catch fresh. She'd have less in total to sell, but she ought to be able to get a better price, from those who were more interested in dinner than stocking up their larders. It wasn't like it would really set her back. She wasn't going home after hitting the docks. The Bravi'os was her home. She could sell and them immediately turn around again and head back out to another fishing spot. If she happened to spend the night out of harbour, well, that was fine.

The weather looked as if it would hold, she was too small to be a worthwhile target for pirates or the like, and mer were unlikely to bother her. In fact, she quite liked catching glimpses of them. For all that they were generally seen in a negative light, one had saved her life, and they shared the oceans with the Biqaj. Plus they could usually sense each other. If Chrien was their mother, and U'frek was the Biqajs Father, and he two Immortals were siblings, then it stood to reason that Biqaj and Mer were cousins.

She realized, as she finished pulling the net and her catch in, that she'd already made up her mind. She was heading back in to Cyrene Bay. First though, the least glamorous part of her job. Head and tail off, slice from the anus up. Guts out in a quick even movement with the knife. She kept some of them in a bucket. It stank, but it would make good bait for when she went back out. The cleaned fish went in a barrel of sea water, it was cool and dark, and would keep the fish fresh for longer than if it were allowed to lie in the sun. She'd not have her reputation tarnished by bad fish.

It was messy, smelly work, but she'd done it a thousand times before, and in truth she enjoyed it. It was honest and straightforward, and while she'd wrinkle her nose at a pig pen or cattle yard, there was no ocean scent that truly offended her. As long as she was on her boat on the ocean, she was happy. The constant rocking was comforting. Still, for all that it was routine, it took her several breaks to clean it all alone, throwing back a few she judged to be too small early on.

"Aiee, wait for the salmon run Bravi'os. We're doing all right now, but wait for that. We'll fish day and night you and I, and we'll be free and in the clear."

She murmured to her ship, as she headed in to port. This was not unusual. On land she was silent, watchful, controlled. At sea she was free, at peace, and in the habit of talking to her ship since there was no one else around.
Last edited by Nivasi Zyq'Dariav on Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:05 pm, edited 3 times in total. word count: 895
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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[Cyrene Bay] Girls Gotta Make a Living

She tacked into harbour, being careful to give the larger ships a wide berth as they slid by. A collision with one of them would hardly scuff their wood, but might be the end of the Bravi'os, and Nivasi loved her ship more than anyone or anything else currently living. If U'frek himself came and asked for a lend of it... Well, she probably would, but she'd damned well want to go along! If he didn't mind. She had to smile at herself, eyes momentarily showing a flash of gold. Imagine her giving an Immortal a piece of her mind. Beings of unimaginable power being told off by a fishmonger who stank of salt and fishguts and who's hands were callused from hauling ropes and using a knife. Aye, that'd go over well. That was ridiculous even for a sea shanty. Although some of the best ones were ridiculous. Perhaps she'd make up her own. Why not? Neither Bravi'os nor the seabirds complained.

It wasn't long before she'd pulled in to one of the Piers, tying her ship in securely. Gangplank was extended between ship and pier, allowing her to manhandle the barrel onto the dock. Full of seawater and fish as it was, there was no way she could have hoped to lift it, but she could walk it, pushing it carefully from side to side. Too far and she'd knock it over into the bay and her days work would have been for naught. Disaster was avoided however, and barrel made it to rest solidly on the dock.

Now for her least favourite bit. Adding her voice to the general chaos that already filled the air. The sea was never silent, but it wasn't nearly as oppressive as this press of humanity on one who longed only for endless horizons. But she didn't want the navy coming after her, and that meant paying back her debt, and that meant selling fish.

"Fish! Fresh fish! Just caught! Lovely halibut! Get your fresh fish!"

Her voice cut through the air well enough, but had anyone been following her, they would have noticed a marked change as she stepped onto the dock. Even that being too far ashore for her liking. Her movements while still graceful were not calculated, expedient. Very few unnecessary movements were made. Her voice which not long before had been belting out songs and crooning to a ship was now loud yes, but controlled, stripped of most emotions. More telling, to a fellow Biqaj in any point, was that eyes that had gone from a myriad of dancing colours had changed to primarily purples and blues, with silver surfacing more than it ought.

"Fish! Just off the boat!"


She called again, seeing a few people starting to look her way. And then her eyes caught a familiar suit of armour strolling along the docks.

Hells. Please be Tidus and not that damned Hunter, or let him have actual business to attend to beyond harassing me. Forgive me for thinking it, but anything. Let there be a murder so the brute has to go do his true job and stop trying to get coin from me.

Hunter Dumont was not one of her favourite people, but since he and his fellow guards, particularly Tidus Endor who also frequented this area, dressed the same, one could always hope it was not him.
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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[Cyrene Bay] Girls Gotta Make a Living

"Zyq'Dariav."

Damn and double damn. That had absolutely dripped with Rakahi overtones. It was Hunter then. This was confirmed when he pushed up his faceplate a moment later, flashing her his trademark grin. The one that said I know you. I know where you sleep. No one would know or stop me. And it was true. He had power and she did not. Perhaps some had the luxury of standing up to him, she did not.

"Guardsman Dumont."

She dipped her head politely, her tone carefully neutral.

"I'd almost think you weren't glad to see me, with a greeting like that."

"It is always reassuring to see a Guard going about his duty Guardsman Dumont."

She mentally cringed. She shouldn't have taken that shot, but oh she hated his behaviour so. This was why she didn't like coming to shore. Technically her words were polite. Technically they were true. But beneath those carefully chosen words that would make a politician proud lay the barb. The implication that he was not going about his duty and was therefore not reassuring. And that implied that he was doing something other than his duty, and that opened a whole myriad of possibilities.

She did not have faith in the laws to protect her. Not when this man was who was supposed to enforce them. Besides, who would cry injustice or rage if anything happened to her? If she should disappear? She was alone. She had no family left to miss her. She was only a woman. And only a fishmonger at that. They'd only notice when her debt came due, and beyond taking back her ship even then they'd not care.

"I'm sure it is."

He leaned in closer, towering over her, his armour making him even larger and more intimidating than he already was.

"Your first payment is up soon isn't it? It would be a shame if you didn't make it, such a nice little boat. Tell me, do you feel safe here? On the docks? We do our best of course, but for a woman alone.. Anything could happen."

Ai, you would try and extort me right after scaring off the customers who might have given me coin so I could pay you wouldn't you?

"With the likes of you patrolling what could I possibly have to worry about?"

DAMMIT. Faldrun take me, it would be quicker and easier than the death this traitor tongue is trying to earn me! And they might find my body.

"I am only a simple fisher, and do not have much, but I would be pleased if you would let me gift you one of the finest fish of this catch, to show my appreciation for the work you do. Surely a Guard such as yourself must work up an appetite."

She dropped her chin slightly and lowered her eyes, trying, grasping for humility, one hand moving to encompass her catch.

"Aye, it does work up an appetite, though not for fish."

"I am sorry Guardsman Dumont, sadly fish is all I have. I could perhaps set the lobster trap next time I am out, but then it is up to U'frek if I am successful or not I'm afraid."

She replied, wilfully misinterpreting, keeping her tone as earnest as she could.
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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[Cyrene Bay] Girls Gotta Make a Living

"I'm not interested in anything from the sea."

His voice had dropped, his usual smooth tones becoming more husky and he moved closer still. It was hard to even pretend she wasn't being threatened and extorted now. She would put up with a lot, bow before most demands, but this she would not do. She had not resorted to getting by on her back even when she'd been afraid of the ocean, and she certainly would not now.

A step back and then ramming forward with her shoulder into his armour sent him tumbling, surprised off the dock, into the water where Biqaj blood or not, his armour pulled him down and down, to drown before he managed to get himself free of it. Onto steadfast Bravi'os, cutting the ropes for speed as people looked on, pointing in shock, sailing away to freedom. To new lands and a new life.

She blinked, brought back from fantasy to reality. Even if she made it to sea, the faster naval ships would catch her. No commoner would ever be allowed to get away with assaulting, let alone killing one of their betters. A quick death would be the best she could hope for, and even that was unlikely. She'd no wish to see the dungeons, nor the beasts who masqueraded as men within them.

Salvation was at hand though. For this moment at least. It would surely earn her his ire in the future, but she could not help that. No, she admitted with brutal honesty, she could help it, she chose not to. Some of the women who'd been interested when she'd first started crying her wares were heading over. They'd waited, making sure their chosen vendor wasn't about to be arrested first. No one with any sense wanted to come to the Guards attention. Even being too close to someone who had their attention could be hazardous to your health. But a person still had to eat, and if you could get a good deal on fresh fish from a Biqaj sailor? Save a few coins? Well, that might be worth it. So once they were within earshot.

"Ah, I understand Guardsman Dumont, I have been presumptuous. With the daughters of Andaris abounding, I can see why you would not look to the sea. I apologize and will respect your wishes. My offer of fish in thanks for your service to the Bay stands, but I will not bother you further. My oath on U'frek."

Fists were made and met each other gracefully in the middle of her chest as she bowed.

"Rynmere has no need of U'frek with the Seven."

Came the snarl as he straightened. She'd trapped him fairly cleverly. For him to contradict her would insult the citizens of Andaris, and everyone knew a sea-faring Biqaj would not invoke U'frek unless they meant it, so future stories of how she'd changed her mind and thrown herself at him would be questioned.

"Of course, I must apologize again. Surely the Seven are great, but I am only a simple fishmonger Guardsman Dumont."

"It's true, all them pointy-ears love U'frek."

One of the trio of older women commented.

"Marta! Shush! The Guardsman is Biqaj!"

"Well not like them sea-water drinking ones, he's a proper Andarian. Lives on land like a man ought to, follows the Seven and courts ladies like he should, not making passes on docks."

She shot Nivasi a fairly sour look when she said that, making it clear what she thought of harlots who would come on to good honest men while standing on a Pier.

"You are right of course Good-mother. Sadly I am still learning the ways of Andaris, brought up on a boat as I was. I fear I do not have all the customs mastered, but fish I know much of. May I show you my catch?"

I was born down the street from here you uppity old hag. Sea-water drinking indeed.
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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[Cyrene Bay] Girls Gotta Make a Living

"Mind you're not late on that payment Zyq'Dariav. I'd hate to have to pay you a visit."

No more charming rogue, that was all threat. Even the Andarian ladies gave him a bit of a look at that. After all, as far as they were concerned although she was clearly backwards, the fishmonger had been unfailingly polite and deferential. This continued, as fists met again, and once more Navasi bowed at the waist.

"Of course Guardsman Dumont. My thanks for the reminder."

"Are you sure it's fresh?"

Hunter slammed his face-plate back down and stalked off, clearly uninterested in listening to a discussion on fish. Nivasi breathed an internal sigh of relief. She wasn't sure what she'd have done if he'd stayed. Once the women, the witnesses were gone, there would have been nothing to protect her. Of course at this time of day the Pier and surrounding area was bustling, there were be people with eyesight, but not necessarily within earshot, or paying attention, and if it came down to his word against hers.. She knew who would be believed.

"Yes Good-mother, I am just in from the sea, docked not even a trial ago."

"Still alive then?"


"No Good-mother, I clean them after catching, they stay fresh longer, and it is less work for you. Simply cook and enjoy."

"How am I to know they're fresh then! You could be lying, just out for more coin like all your kind!"

"Marta!"

"No, no, it is a fair question. You must think of your families no? To feed them bad fish, this would not be good. Look, I will show you."

She lifted one of the fish free of the barrel, displaying it for the three to see.

"See how there are no discolorations? And how firm the flesh is? Most important, smell. What you call fish smell, this is the scent of fish which is no good. See how it lacks this scent? This is how you know it is fresh, good for your families!"

"Hmmm, well you stink of fish! So you have rotten fish then? What, you show us this good one and then swap when we are not looking?"

U'frek grant me patience. I will strangle this woman before long.

But she needed the coin. And the reputation. So though her eyes continued to flash silver, Nivasi smiled pleasantly and gave a light depreciative laugh.

"No good-mother. I smell of fish because of the trials I spent cleaning them. I have only this barrel of fish today, and all were caught at the same time and are good. You are welcome to check any of them, and if you would like this piece, then it will be yours. I may smell, but my fish does not."

So sorry that we can't all bathe in asses milk and rose petals, that some of us must actually dirty our hands to feed the rest!

"Well, I think they look nice. it's not pike is it?"


"No, I have been to the sea today, pike like only sweet-water. These are halibut."

"Ah! Our Sedrick likes halibut! I'll take some for sure!"


"Me too, well Marta, are you having fish for dinner as well or not? I don't want to stay on the docks forever, I've still laundry to get in."

"I suppose I will, but if it's bad, I'll be back and I'll bring the Guard with me!"


"Of course good-mother."

She bowed again, before moving to help them select which of the fish they wanted. She spent much of the rest of the day there, crying her wares, until the barrel was largely empty. She wrestled it back onto the Bravi'os. She picked a piece out for her own supper, and started the rest smoking, as she headed back out to sea. After the encounter with Hunter, she would sleep better on the ocean then she would in the Harbour. Tomorrow was another day, and the ocean was full of fish.
Last edited by Nivasi Zyq'Dariav on Tue May 10, 2016 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 688
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[Cyrene Bay] Girls Gotta Make a Living

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Nivasi


Skills
Poetry: 1
Singing: 1
Fishing: 2
Seafaring: 1
Socialization: 1
Navigation: 1
Negotiation: 3
Performance: 1
Observation: 2
Etiquette: 1

Basic Knowledge
Ashan: Good fishing for Halibut
Fishing: Fish guts make good bait
Socialization: The ship doesn’t answer back
Etiquette: Polite greeting of city officials.
Hunter Dumont: Guardsman

Specialised Knowledge
Fishing: Gut an preserve in salt-water to keep fresh
Negotiation: Remain outwardly neutral
Negotiation: Keep up appearances
Hunter Dumont: Intimidating presence
Hunter Dumont: Handle negotiations with care & preferably witnesses.
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