• Solo • Meddlesome Mentoring (Graded)

40th of Vhalar 719

The cities and villages of Melrath are as varied and diverse as they come. The capital of Raelia is the the jewel of this western kingdom, playing host to a merchants, artisans, Aesir priests, as well as a cut throat political landscape dominated by the nobles of Raelia. To the south in the depths of the Myrkvior Forest lies Melrath's second largest, and oldest city, Fensalir. Here people have learned to live alongside spirits and the natural world by maintaining their loyalty to traditions laid down the first Melrathi. To the east lies the small fishing village of Noatun, and to the western mountains rests the Mer city of Verimeer, the brewing town of Alivilda and the alpine village Vormund.
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Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:36 pm
Race: Yludih
Renown: 40
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Meddlesome Mentoring (Graded)

40th of Vhalar, 719

It had never occurred to Zih to pay attention to her surroundings. It was not that she didn't watch them, only that she watched for people watching her or directional landmarks, and not for the cats that she weaved her hands around. It was likely not the most sanitary way to sell herbs but anytime the Yludih tried to shoo one it only gaze at her with cool disinterest. Cats had enviable confidence even if they were annoying. Their bodies slunk around her hands as if taunting her, tails flicking in what she could only assume was irritation or amusement. While they mostly gravitated to who Zih assumed was the stall keeper, they found no trouble with troubling anyone within easy reach.

She avoided them as much as she could but it seemed like they took great pleasure in watching her or directly obstructing her herb gathering. Nosey creatures that they seemed to be, and only deterred by newer hands reaching for herbs. Some even begged for pets the array of different personalities confusing the Yludih and making her hesitate every time she went to grab something. It was impossible to tell. Would it swipe at her? Butt into her hand for forced petting and dirty her hands? Or would it just be a nuisance? Would it ignore her completely? The Yludih could only hope.

"You look tired, girlie."

The Yludih near jumped out of her own illusion. Her hand that was poised over the stocks of herbs as she turned, unsure if it was directed at her but her rapidly paling face would look sickly now anyway. The woman was familiar in a way that made her itch, and she seemed to having been watching her exchange with the cats if her expression was anything to go by. The scent of herbs wafting from her blending in with the ones within the stall, and made Zih think she should buy from somewhere else if the scent was so common she didn't notice the woman now focused on her with all the others finished their benign and boring chatter. It took her several moments to fully process that it was her the old woman spoke too, amused shifting eyes watching her carefully. The Yludih coughed to clear her throat, eyes skittering and unable to maintain contact.

"Uh," Words failed, her tongue thick in her mouth as she whipped her hand back into her pockets without choosing. Both to avoid the idea that she was hesitating and the furred menace butting it's head up against her hand. Enthused by it's stillness and gather free, unwilling affection. "N-no?"

"If you aren't then you look like shit." The words made her flinch, could she focus to perk up her illusion so it wouldn't call attention to herself? It was a moot point now but Zih also wasn't sure how to respond, another flinch rattle her stones as the old woman continued to size her up. "Try these."

Without even looking she had grabbed some herbs while Zih just stared wide-eyed though they were not familiar to her, her entire face a pucker now. If a lemon had emotions it might come close to the expression on her face which only seemed to amuse the old woman more. It would be easy to take them and avoid any unnecessary chatter about what they were but it wasn't like she could mosey over to the library for awhile and figure it out herself. Rather than take the herbs she brought her gaze to the colorful eyes and waited, the woman's smile widened.

"If you want to know what it's called, you only need to ask, girlie."

Her lips pursed. "Th-that one?"

It was the best she could get out, the urge to run only growing the firmer the woman acted. She was not being unkind nor forcing Zih to do anything but interact but it was enough to have her skin ripple with discomfort, a tremor in her spine and a tremble in her voice. Even the thin, barely familiar finger she pointed with shook ever so slightly. A cat batting towards her though the crystalline woman only shifted away slightly, eyeing the creature as both a distraction and some mild annoyance.

"S'called Licorice Root."

Nothing more was given but Zih took the root and added it to her own bag then pointed to the next, light entering her eyes at the new information, hand steadying minutely as she pointed to the next. This time the cat slunk over her hands and away to bother more willing participants.

"And that o-one?"

"Cordyceps, good for your small arms too."
The woman added with a wide grin while the young woman blinked rapidly in confusion before the words made sense. Muscles, it was good for her muscles. Well, maybe the muscles of the true face she wore but the Yludih preferred her sturdy crystal over the flesh of a human but she nodded all the same, added it too. The last few she paused, they look similar to each other but the old woman wouldn't have added them without them being different. And one look familiar, Zih found an unwilling smile curve at her lips, meeting the others gaze once more.

"It--it's ginseng!"

The praise warmed her a bit but even Zih wasn't dense enough to miss the silent, then voiced, but. "But what kind?"

"...I d--don't know."

"Panax, and Eleuthero. Best ginseng you can get, girlie, take those bags right out from under your eyes and that pout right off that pretty mouth."

Zih flushed at the words while the elder woman laughed, her eyes dancing with colors when the Yludih added them to her basket. She doubted she was being mocked but it always left a pit of tar in her stomach that would swallow her whole if she wallowed in it. The compliments were not for her. The stall keeper would just as soon give her hemlock than call her pretty and offer things to help the chronic tiredness the cold brought on. Instead of dwelling she paid for the herbs but her feet didn't move, instead she cocked her head, stilling her eager limbs while a cat wound around them as phantom locks, the barely eked out.


"Allergies what?"

"They--do you--"
Her teeth ground. "H--herbs for allergies?"

"Good enough, girlie."
Once more her hands seemed to almost magically fill with herbs. Though this time she blessedly did not seem to insist on Zih asking about each one, her tone coming out like that of the distant Ne'haer mentors as she added them to Zih's basket for her. "Honey, native works best. Got your butterbur for headaches and nose hurts from them, nettle leaf for swelling, rosemary and turmeric for the symptoms. Nothing I got will stop them but it'll help though you don't look like you got them."

Once more the Yludih pursed her lips but made no comment. It wasn't for her but she liked to be prepared. Maybe if she gave someone help or herbs when they needed them they would be less likely to shatter her if her race slipped out. It was likely wishful thinking, her mind going back to the way people had stared at her father's corpse, but anything that helped soothed her ever fractured nerves was fine. Taking the silence in stride the older woman continued.

"But I figure you knew these by now, girlie, see you picking them and writing in your book."

If it was possible to have a heart attacked from words alone, Zih would have been dead several times over but this was one of the top ones. Only the knowledge that throwing the herbs back in the woman's face and fleeing would attract more attention kept her rooted to the spot. That or unadulterated fear swallowing her like a black hole. Seeming to note her face, several more herbs dropped into the bag, the smile softening, her eyes a calming blue that untwisted the noose strangling her heart like it was it's sole purpose in life.

"Lemon balm, valerian root, skullcaps, and basil." The last one made her pause, the thought of cooking ailments away once more taking a weak grasp of her attention. "All for your nerves. You're jumpier than my cats when a strangers in the house."

The woman had been picking her apart easily since she'd laid eyes on her but this was getting too...specific. With something like an apology on her face, a mumbled thanks, the Yludih dropped the coins and fled like the woman would have the guard tailing her home. And if she stumbled over one of the blasted, quick-footed cats she didn't let it stop her from fleeing.
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Re: Meddlesome Mentoring






Medicine: Herbs for allergies
Medicine: Herbs for nerves
Medicine: Herbs for fatigue
Meditation: Steeling your nerves
Meditation: Using distractions to calm yourself
Meditation: Focusing during a social interrogation

Cats : Fleet footed
Cats: Nosey
Cats: Slinky when they move
Cats: Confident
Cats: Watchful creatures






5 renown

Comments: Zih is so cute in her shyness. I just want to fill a big cage with food and blankets and put her into it until she settles down.

In all seriousness, girl needs to get some nerves. But I enjoy reading about her shy, jittery exploits, so maybe keep her as a scaredy cat.

Enjoy the rewards.

word count: 113
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