• Completed • Gold is not the most Important

Love is. Luckily I love gold.

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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Gold is not the most Important

61 Ashan, Arc 716


She'd been working very nearly every day. Not even night necessarily brought an end to her activities. But then, there was no one for her to work in shifts with. It was her alone, and her ship debt, paired with Hunters threat and the ease with which the Banks Mer could find her if he could not, hung over her head. They'd given her a year to work it off. And perhaps that would be necessary were she paying a landlord, and indulging in good foods, clothing herself in silk and gold, if she had a family to support. But she lived on the Bravi'os, and she lived modestly. Most of her meals were fish and kelp, caught in her own nets. Her clothes were limited and simple. She provided for no one but herself.

And this meant she was limited by no one but herself, and if Nivasi was one thing, it was determined, driven.

Which came together resulting in this current moment of almost perfection. The one where within her first season, she was walking to the Andaris extension of Rynmeres Bank, the coins needed to repay her loan concealed in a bag within her sash. Almost perfection because for all that she moved with grace, flowing through the crowded streets like a boat upon the water surrounded by flocks of squawking seagulls, for all that her chin was high and her expression serene, still she was aware of possible danger. Her singular independence, freedom if you like, also left her vulnerable. What if someone chose to attack her now? To rob her, making her start all over again, assuming she was not too injured. Of course it was midday, and the guard were out and about, so the chances of such an occurrence were low. Still, it lay at the back of her mind, niggling her, keeping her aware.

As she stepped within the bank, seeing the armed and armoured Mer guardians, watching silently all that happened around them, a tiny bit of the tension dissipated. Nivasi trusted the Mer far more than she did humans, for all that the ones who ran the bank seemed far removed from their wilder brethren. Following protocol, she put her payment, all three nundred gold nels in a sealed bag, recording her details, before setting it next to a pool of water. Before her eyes, another mer, leaner than the guards rose from the depths to take the bag.

"Wait!"

It paused, dark eyes fixed on her face, unreadable. For a moment, the normally collected Nivasi was thrown off. She'd called out almost without thinking, and now felt rather like a child who'd shouted at the King only to have him actually turn around.

"Thank you, I just.. I'd heard of the shipwreck in Krom Lake, and I'd wanted to see it one day, but I know your bank is also there, and I would not like to intrude on that."

It glanced at the details she'd recorded. A whisper brushed past her mind

Nivasi Zyq'Dariav of the Bravi'os. Your interest is noted.

And with that it was gone, diving into the depths and quickly lost to sight. Nivasi, eyes flashing gold, take a moment to compose herself before turning and leaving the bank. She still had some coin left, and she intended to turn it into resources to make more. Even as her mind turned to these more mundane and immediate concerns though, she couldn't help but go back to her encounter with the Mer. To how it had sounded within her mind, and to what precisely it had meant. Lost in thought as she was, she was less alert as she moved on towards the marketplace.
Last edited by Nivasi Zyq'Dariav on Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 633
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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Gold is not the most Important

For a brief moment, a small smile appeared on Nivasis face as she stepped into the marketplace, caught up in the currents of people who hurried about their days. There was no sudden and irrevocable changing of her personality or temperament, but it was a great relief to own the Bravi'os herself, free and clear. No more debts. If she had a bad season, the worst that would happen is that she would need to eat only what the sea gave her and look a bit ragged. It was within her control. This was good. This was in fact, excellent.

It was perhaps this whimsical, happy mood that saw her feet drifting towards one of the grander displays. Jewelry. Her eyes drank in the sight, silver and gold, polished glass and more precious stones. When the vendor noticed the shifting of her eyes and the points to her ears, you could almost hear the coins clinking in his head.

"Anything particular you are looking for? Gold would look nice against your skin, perhaps a pendant with a stone that changes almost as often as your eyes?"

His long fingered clever hands moved to show off different pieces, torcs, tigers eye, rings.

"I am not looking for anything specific."

Her own hand reached out, carefully lifting a pair of onyx earrings. She could buy these. She could buy these and everyone who looked upon her would immediately know that she was doing well, was successful. Onyx was a statement without ever having to open your mouth. It might not ward Hunter off, but others would step more carefully in case she had the resources to make their lives hard. They did not need to know she ate fish and kelp for dinner, they would see only the onyx and assume great wealth.

"Perhaps something specific has found you then?"

He suggested, trying to keep the naked avarice from his face. Selling those would make this trial, no, this hand of trials a successful one for him.

For a moment she seriously considered it, before the smile appeared again, and the colours rippled through her eyes in silent laughter. One day perhaps. Not this one. She carefully set the earrings back. They would say something certainly, namely rob me.

"They are lovely. When I am ready to invest in such things, I will come to you, for you must surely be the best. Thank you for showing me your wares."

Fists met before chest and Nivasi offered the merchant a bow. Manners cost nothing, and helped keep people at arms length, as well as keeping you safe. This done, she stepped away surely, off to far for mundane things.
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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Gold is not the most Important

Off to a section of the marketplace with a distinctly different demographic than the first. Around the jewelers women had made up the majority, many of them in their best finery, fluttering about like butterflies. Here it was largely men, and not nobles. Trades and craftsmen, with tanned skin and roughened hands.

She stopped at one shop and made her first purchase, which ought to help her with the rest. A sturdy wheelbarrow. It put her back fourteen gold nels, an expense that left a sour taste in her mouth, but she knew if she looked after it, it would last. Besides, how much easier her life would be with a wheelbarrow, not trying to manhandle full sized barrels and the like alone. Plus it would be easier to transport larger orders to restaurants or well off homes. She'd not have to depend on making her sales on the docks alone.

Only a few stalls over, she made her next purchases, and these went into the wheelbarrow which was already proving it's worth. This stall sold tools. Nivasi has decided that she ought to be able to do simple upkeep to the Bravi'os herself. She was no shipwright of course, but she loved the Bravi'os, and would do her best to keep it in as good shape as possible, and that meant being able to see to the little jobs and issues as they arose before they became big issues. A small one-handed saw, a hammer, a hatchet, a pair of pliers and a pry bar made their way into her wheelbarrow. Add to that a hundred small nails, forty large nails, and twenty spikes and she was parted from a further nine gold.

On to a stall she knew much better, and here, since a little farther along the fish stalls started, the demographic changed again, becoming more mixed. Here though, at the stall that sold anything one might need to make their living catching fish, Nivasi favoured the vendor with one of her infrequent true smiles, teeth flashing briefly in the light.

"Ferlin. U'frek smiles on you I hope?"

"Oh aye, I reckoned he were pissing on me when he took me legs, but if you saw the dinner our Elsie cooked up t'other night! Best thing what ever happened to me! No more guttin fish, no more nights with cold rain pissin' down me neck. Your boy knew what we were doin'. Now I just sell t'young idiots like you. What did you need Nivasi?"

The older, grizzled man was one of Nivasis favourite people. Considering the fact that she didn't really like anyone, this was saying something. A fishing accident had seen both of his legs lost just above the knee, necessitating a change in careers. Since fishing was all he'd ever known he'd had the entrepreneurial spirit to sell his own fishing gear fro a decent price, which he then used to buy old nets to repair and resell. Paying children to get bait for him had been another source of coin, and in short order he was selling any fishing gear you might need, new and of decent quality.

"I need more hooks, weights, lures, leader clips and line. And a dip net. And four more traps."

"I take it you did all right this season then?"

"The Bravi'os is mine."

She answered with a grin.

"Oh aye? Good for you lass! You'll have to come over for dinner to celebrate!"

"I will, but I'll bring the food, I'll just let Elsie cook it!"


"She is a fine cook that wife of mine, a fine cook. Do you have a young man to bring yet?"

"Oh of course, but I'm afraid he likely won't fit through the door, and getting him out of the harbour might be a bit of a task."

"You Biqaj are mad. A ship's all well and good to have as your first true love, but find one of flesh and blood! Trust me, when you're old and its cold out you'll be glad of it."

"So you always tell me. What do I owe you Ferlin?"

"Thirty-six gold, but for you-"

"Thirty six it is, actually can I get another two hundred feet of rope?"


"Ah, good lass! You can never have too much rope! Forty gold all together then."

She handed the coins over to him. He often tried to give her deals, but he was probably the one man she'd not allow it from. She liked him and his wife, and liked to give him her business whenever she could.

"Tonight!"

She promised with a wave, before continuing on.
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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Gold is not the most Important

She'd been heading to buy food, but her step slowed as she passed the stalls selling clothes. She'd been quite thrifty, getting only what she needed for business, would it be so bad to buy something for herself? As it stood, the only clothes she owned were the ones she wore every day on the boat. There was nothing wrong with them exactly, but was it wrong to sometimes not want clothes that were stained and smelled slightly of fish no matter how you scrubbed? Maybe it was vain. Maybe it was unnecessary. She'd worked very hard though, and she thought she deserved to be able to look nice. Wasn't she going over to Ferlin and Elsies for dinner? It was polite to look presentable.

She was going to buy herself another set of clothes, some nicer ones to save for this sort of thing, and she was not going to feel bad about it. What was the point of working to make coins if you never used them on things you wanted that made you happy?

For all that the silks waving in the light breeze were what she really wanted, that would have been a bit too impractical, not to mention pricey. Maybe in the Arcs to come, she could save up and buy a piece at a time. She was really just starting out again now, just starting to build her life. So nice cuts and colours, of dependable linen would do for now, and she'd see what the future brought.

So after perusing the stalls, and some haggling, she wound up with a few pieces she liked as an outfit, bit which she thought she'd also be able to build on later. A sharkbite linen skirt of a particularly nice turquoise colour, a simple but flattering white linen blouse, a light brown linen bodice that she thought she'd be able to throw on over her work outfit when she was off the boat, a matching brown linen sash and bandanna, and a pair of leather knee high sandals, the most expensive of her purchases at a hefty four gold. Still, footwear that would hold up was important. In total, it cost her eleven gold and five silver, and considering what she'd bought, she was happy with that price.

For a moment she wavered when a particularly nice dark amethyst silk sash caught her eye, running the slick fabric through her fingers. At over twenty gold though, she just couldn't justify it. Not yet, wait, wait and see how well we'll do, then drape yourself in gold and silks. Whispered a quiet internal voice. It wasn't one she was used to hearing from, this sure, optimistic, self-confident self. She wasn't certain if it fit her, accustomed as she was to making do and things not working out, but she liked it all the same.

It had the same feeling as a comforting dream, but this one promised to make itself reality if she just held fast to her course. If she dared the storms and chop the future might bring.

Nivasi, largely through nurture rather than nature, was not particularly daring. She was cautious, and played it safe. She usually felt it was best to expect very little, and perhaps be pleasantly surprised if your work was rewarded. But she was capable. And as she learned this, as she learned all that she was capable of, on her own, she grew a little braver. Nature had a little more chance of overtaking nurture.
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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Gold is not the most Important

Now finally, and this was likely good since the wheelbarrow was beginning to grow a bit heavy, it was on to the produce section of the marketplace. One good thing about Ferlin and Elsie was that they were simple people. Elsie was a good cook this was true, but she and her husband favoured simple, filling dishes rather than airy pastries and pates and the like. Halibut had continued to be her main catch of the season, which was good since she quite liked it, and was sure that they would as well, so that was the main protein sorted. Which left a starch and vegetables.

After stopping at several stalls, she wound up with three potatoes, three carrots, an onion, an eggplant, a zucchini, three morel mushrooms, two cherry peppers and a lemon. Almost as an afterthought she picked up a sweet crenshaw melon for after. That would certainly be more than enough, but it meant they would likely have leftovers, and since Ferlin would never let her get him lunch or even drop off a fish or two otherwise, she was all in favour of it. All together, it set her back another seven silver and 3 copper, but for a generous meal for three people, this did not seem unreasonable.

This done she headed for home. Or at least where home was docked for the day. Though the load was a bit heavy, even with the aid of the wheelbarrow, she stepped surely and confidently. Weaving her way through the crowds, head high and eyes scanning. She rarely looked at individual people, preferring not to draw attention or invite approach, instead relying largely on peripheral vision to keep her moving and avoiding all the obstacles. That was how time on solid ground often felt to her. A journey from point A to point B, where you navigated as well as you could to avoid all obstacles. Occasionally there might be stolen moments of enjoyment or engagement, but for the most part it was stubbornly and steadfastly tolerated and no more. Grit your teeth, lift your chin and get through.

Perhaps this seemed.. Short-sighted, or dramatic even. One had to remember however that for the first sixteen Arcs of her life she'd interacted almost solely with her parents. Occasionally other sea-faring Biqaj, perhaps some of the other fisherman. She'd grown up on a boat, working. And perhaps that seemed like a harsh thing to do to a child, but when it was with parents who loved you and made sure to interject play into the day and not give you more than you could handle, there were far worse lives to have. And then the storm. In a moment, everything she had was ripped away from her, lost beneath the waves. For years she'd been afraid of the only life she'd ever known. Uncomfortable even looking at the ocean. But she had no other skills, no other family. She'd scraped by, gutting, cleaning, cutting, smoking the catches of others. Repairing nets for fisherman. She'd lived with an old woman, trading cleaning for a bedroll in the corner of the living room. It was not glamorous but the only other people who would let a vulnerable, isolated sixteen year old girl into their homes.. They were not so good for the sixteen year old.

This then was her experience with the land. It was where you were flung when you'd lost everything. It was where people cared only for what you could offer them, not for you, and when they said otherwise it was a lie. There was no safety here, and without safety there was no true freedom. Much better to be on the sea. That was home.

When the ocean came into view a careful observer would literally see some of the tension and wariness leaving her body. She made her way to the Bravi'os, nodding at the other sailors she knew and recognized. At least the ones who'd learned to respect the distance the lone Biqaj demanded. When her boundaries were respected, Nivasi did warm up and unbend at least a little. Those who insisted on testing them tended to be pushed away entirely.

Perhaps a large part of the reason Nivasi did not engage and kept people at arms length was not only for safety, as she would have argued, but also unwillingness to go through loss on that level again. Any semi-competent philosopher would immediately have ripped this to shreds of course. What was the point of living if you did not fully enjoy it and so on and so forth, by seeking to avoid pain she was also missing out on pleasure and on and on. Which was all well and good, but since her actions were subconsciously motivated and she didn't have deep and meaningful chats with philosophers anymore than she did anyone else, this was a rather moot point.

She had the Bravi'os, this was enough.
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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Gold is not the most Important

The wheres for storing gave her a little trouble. Finding homes for the legitimately nautical tools was not so hard, but the Bravi'os was not very large, so finding a spot for the wheelbarrow for example gave her pause. Eventually she settled for sticking it under her small table within the sloop. There wasn't really room for her knees there anymore, but she spent most of her time up on deck anyway. If she was in her cabin she was likely sleeping, not sitting at her table.

When all was put away she found it to be only mid afternoon. With her dinner engagement, she didn't really have time to go out fishing again, but it was a long time to sit idle in the Bay, and she'd no real wish to go back on land again yet. For a moment she wasn't sure what to do with herself as she stood on deck, surveying the bustle of the Bay, on land and off, before a breeze whispering across her face won a smile from her. She would go to sea of course. Even without a real reason too, she would go to sea.

The rest of the tension she was carrying drained from her with this decision, and with free easy movements and a smile on her face she unmoored herself and cast off, tacking carefully out of harbour, minding the larger boats since many of them would not bother to mind her. She didn't have a set destination in mind, so she went with the wind, playing more than anything else. She raced the Bravi'os against imaginary competitors. In truth the Bravi'os was not built for speed, but this did not diminish the enjoyment she took in the activity. The wind and spray in her face was all that she wanted.

Eventually she slowed and finally stopped. She looked, and saw no other vessels in view. She tossed her anchor over the side, and with a grin shucked off her clothes. In a heartbeat she was over the side and sliding into the water, like a seal.

"Phwwah! Chriens pointy tits!"

She cursed, goosebumps rising on her skin. It was tolerable, but Cylus had left enough of itself behind that it certainly wouldn't be confused with bath water any time soon.

She dove under the water, fingers scratching through her hair, loosening and cleaning it.

Ah, no fine lady I! No rose petals, no asses milk, no fine scented soaps nor ladies to scrub my back. Still, rough though I may be, the ocean and its salt leaves a sweeter perfume than any flower I've ever smelt.

In all honesty, considering that many of the common folk thought bathing weekly was an excessive indulgence, Nivasi and her ocean ablations was much more hygienic than most. She scrubbed vigorously at all of the parts that she judged needed scrubbing, before diving under the water and kicking her legs. She was not a very strong swimmer, but, fear having been largely conquered, the ocean always struck her as a fairly magical place. At this depth for all that she could see a relatively long way, as she peered about, eyes open, it faded to a murky darkness before she really saw anything of note. Surfacing she gulped air in before diving again to see how deep she could go. This was a common game for her. How deep could she go. How far without taking a breath. And though it was a game played only with and against herself, it was also training. A little deeper, a little further each time. Lung capacity a little bit greater. Form when swimming a little bit more correct.

When her lungs began to burn she turned upwards, back towards surface and kicked up. As her need for air began to get desperate, she exhaled the breath she'd been holding through her nose, speeding her ascent. Breaking surface once more she took great gasping breaths refilling her lungs. Then she swam away from the Bravi'os. It was not very dignified. She was still relearning what had once come so naturally. No dignified breastroke this, only a doggy paddle, head above the water and arms and legs paddling. She didn't go too far, one never knew when the weather might turn, and what if the anchor line broke?, before she turned back. She made several laps around her ship before hauling herself back aboard and sprawling out on the deck in the sun to dry, a satisfied smile on her face.
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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Gold is not the most Important

She sunned herself on the deck of the Bravi'os for over a break, enjoying the caress of the twin suns. This was better than any tavern, this was better than a lover. What was more indulgent, more perfect than this silken embrace as Bravi'os gently rocked her? Her fingers spread over the wood of the deck, with the warmth is felt almost like a living thing. And why not? As far as she was concerned it was.

"You and me Bravi'os. We're free and we'll be freer yet. Just you and me."

She whispered, eyes closed. She gave the deck a final pat before sitting up, eyes opening and smile on her face. Standing she moved below deck. Picking up her comb she pulled it through her hair, brushing out the tangles gifted to her by the oceans currents. This done, she opened the chest that contained her clothes. Underclothes first, then the turquoise skirt, white blouse, brown bodice and the brown bandanna keeping her hair back. She brought her knee high sandals up on deck with her though she didn't put them on yet. She liked the feeling of the wooden planks beneath her toes.

Rising anchor, she turned her bow back towards harbour. As wind filled sail and started to move she hummed, and eventually broke into song, rough voice rising alongside the sounds of the ocean.

"There was a bright young farmer,
Who lived on Warrick plain;
He loved a rich Knight's daughter dear
And she loved him again.
The Knight he was distressed,
That they should sweethearts be.
So he had the farmer pressed,
And sent him off to sea.
Windy weather boys, stormy weather, boys
When the wind blows we're all together, boys
Blow ye winds westerly, blow ye winds, blow
Jolly sou'wester, boys, steady she goes

'Twas on the deep Orm'del,
Midst Ashans fearsome gales;
This young farmer fell overboard
Among the sharks and whales;
He disappeared so quickly,
So headlong down went he,
That he went out of sight
Like a streak of light
To the bottom of the deep blue sea.
Windy weather boys, stormy weather, boys
When the wind blows we're all together, boys
Blow ye winds westerly, blow ye winds, blow
Jolly sou'wester, boys, steady she goes

We lowered a boat to find him,
We thought to see his corpse,
When up to the top he came with a bang,
And sang in a voice so hoarse,
'My comrades and my messmates,
Oh, do not weep for me,
For I'm married to a sweet Mer maid,
At the bottom of the sea.'
Windy weather boys, stormy weather, boys
When the wind blows we're all together, boys
Blow ye winds westerly, blow ye winds, blow
Jolly sou'wester, boys, steady she goes

She'd come at once unto him,
And gave him her white hand,
Saying, 'I have waited long, my dear,
To welcome you to land.
Go to your ship and tell them,
You'll leave them all for me;
For you're married to a Mer maid
At the bottom of the sea.'
Windy weather boys, stormy weather, boys
When the wind blows we're all together, boys
Blow ye winds westerly, blow ye winds, blow
Jolly sou'wester, boys, steady she goes

The wind was fair, the sails set,
The ship was running free;
When we all went to the captain bold,
And told what we did see.
He went unto the ship's side,
And loudly bellowed he,
'Be happy as you can, my man,
At the bottom of the sea.'
Windy weather boys, stormy weather, boys
When the wind blows we're all together, boys
Blow ye winds westerly, blow ye winds, blow
Jolly sou'wester, boys, steady she goes"


The song was over and she was silent again long before she pulled into the Bay, but the contentment and smile lingered. Mooring again, she pulled on and laced her sandals, heading below once more to pack the food before jumping lightly from ship to dock. She moved with purpose, heading for Ferlin and Elsies. They had a small humble home, not far from the Marketplace. Though not the largest by any means it was well kept and always felt welcoming. That could be attributed more to the company than the setting though.

She raised her hand and knocked on the door.

"Elsie! Elsie someone's at the door!"

"I can hear it just as well as you can dear, and I'm sitting right beside you, there's no reason to yell."

"Sorry love."

"No harm dear, no harm."

Nivasi ducked her head, smiling as the muffled exchange came through the door. In a few moments it was opened by an elderly but still vibrant woman wearing a simple seagreen dress and a liberally stained white apron over top.

"Nivasi! Come in child, come in! And what have you brought! Ferlin said you were bringing over a little something, how many did you think would be here for dinner? Half the navy?"
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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav
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"Ah, I was feeling particularly hungry while I was shopping, and when I thought of it all being cooked up by you.."

Elsie gave her a look so old it had Original Beings in it before offering her a smile and ushering her into the house, closing the door behind them.

"I do seem to recall your culinary repertoire being rather limited.."

"Bah! She cooks just fine!"

"Sometimes a person has to be able to prepare more than fish dear. As I recall that was one of the reasons you chased about after me!"

"Well it certainly wasn't just that m'love, shan't say it didn't help though!"

"You are terrible."

"That's why you eventually said yes."

"Well, it wasn't just that."

The evening continued like this, Elsier trying to show Nivasi the simple but tasty way she prepared the food, roasting it all together with a generous pinch of salt and a smaller pinch of the rarer pepper. This was followed by a night of story-telling and gossiping, until well after the suns had set before Nivasi excused herself, seeing that her hosts were starting to tire.

Exchanging hugs all around, with a wave she set off for the Docks once more, back to the Bravi'os. Home.
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Gold is not the most Important

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Nivasi Zyq'Dariav of the Bravi'os


Skills:

Seafaring +1
Stealth +1
Swimming +2
Appraisal +2
Detection +2
Intelligence +1
Rhetoric +1
Etiquette +2
Persuasion +1
Singing +2
Cooking +1


Knowledge:

Basic
Appraisal: Onyx is very expensive.
Appraisal: Stone types
Cooking: Roasting brings out flavour
Detection: Observation on the horizon.
Etiquette: Negotiating with market stall holders.
Intelligence: Gender differences in crowd behaviour
Stealth: Crowds are difficult to move through
Swimming: Breath control is vital to swim underwater
Rynmere: Mer guardians: behaviour and habits.
Location: Rynmere bank
Location: Rynmere markets

Specialised
Cooking: Pepper and salt together add a lot of flavour
Cooking: A little bit of pepper goes a long way
Persuasion: knowing when to speak can make a stronger argument
Stealth: avoiding collisions by body movements in crowds.
Swimming: breath control techniques.
Mer: reading facial expressions.
Fertin: doing well for himself.
Elsie: a good cookery teacher

Loot:

Loss & Gains: CS checked. Thanks for doing this already!

Fame:

+2 Giving a gift (lots of food!)

Overview:

A really interesting thread - I loved reading the differences in Nivasi on land, on boat and in the water. Her relationship with Fertin and Elsie was lovely to read, also, and they have a sense of being very important in her life - perhaps made more so because of her tragedy in her past. Thank you for deducting everything in your ledger, also - made checking easy. I had a lot of fun reading this thread and it made me really want to write with Nivasi at some point, so thank you! Could you please put a "Reviewed" graphic on your peer review request to let reviewers know it's been done. Please PM me if you've got any questions at all!
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"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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