• Solo • For Want of a Nail (Part I)

5th of Vhalar 721

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Bakar
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:20 am
Race: Qi'ora
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For Want of a Nail (Part I)

5th of Vhalar, 721
Ruined lives and wrecked houses. That was the first sight to greet Bakar's eyes as he entered what the Rharnian's labeled the "Dust Quarter". A name that was, while perhaps cruel, was not inaccurate. It proved more a shantytown than an actual district of the city: a shifting, writhing mass of downtrodden individuals seeking shelter under whatever may pass for a roof in this section of Illaren's mortal domain. In honesty, it did not appear disimular than the slave tents he grew up under.

Poverty, it appeared, was slavery of a different sort. The chains, aye they were of a different make, but the smith knew them to be chains all the same.

Bakar, wearing nothing more than a simple set of work pants and shouldering a rupsack full of tools, likely had more wealth on him than most here had seen in their lives. Exposed skin graced by a blessedly sunny day, he was thankful that these souls did not yet have to experience the harshness of a Rharnian winter. By the looks of the strange clothes and apparently foreign customs, he would not be the only to experience such cold for the first time.

Sharp eyes up and broad chest forward, Bakar kept his wits about him as he ventured deeper into the Dust quarter. Bits of broken common entered his ears, along with another strange, smooth sounding tongue. He smiled at the breathy, fluid nature of it. Though it was strange and indecipherable to him, the trickling tongue reminded him of smatterings of Umaya. A smile touched his lips, he was glad that these strangers had fellows they could speak natively with. He would have to their language while he worked on his Common.

His feet took him farther down the district, and he was glad to have gotten directions from his travelling companions before he descended into Dust. The city section was a mess of harsh angles and nameless paths, and were it not for their guidance he was sure he would be walking the city's length rather than arriving at his new home.

And what a home it was.

Well, it bore the rough shape of a house. Slanted walls and a roof to match. No door to speak of, and he could only imagine those now empty holes once passed for windows. It had a bed of shoddy make, and he would not trust that mattress anymore than a merchant's word at the end of Market Day.

Needless to say, Bakar had his work cut out for him. Still, that ghost of a smile did not fade from his lips. It was his, and it would serve.

Besides, the Qi'ora was never one to shy from work.
Last edited by Bakar on Sun Oct 24, 2021 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 463
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Bakar
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Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:20 am
Race: Qi'ora
Profession: Student
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Re: For Want of a Nail

The house was nearly as stubborn as Bakar. He found the walls, despite their obvious slant and state of disrepair, unyielding in any attempts to set or move by strength alone. The roof was somehow both stable enough to stay attached to those self-same slanted walls, but fragile enough that any attempt to scale or put weight enough on it to begin repairs resulted in cantankerous groaning. The bedframe would need to be sanded down before gripped with bare hand or slept on, Bakar was still nursing splinters from that particular discovery.

Covered in a slight sheen of sweat from his efforts, Bakar couldn't help don a crooked smile to match the crooked walls. His new docile had personality, that much was certain. She groaned at the prospect of being moved or resettled, and damned neared screamed in protest when removing the old aspects of her life to be replaced with the new. She was like the elder merchants Bakar ran into at the Nashaki Markets, too old for this changing world but too damn thick-headed to let go of it yet.

Used to run into, he supposed. He supposed he was like those merchants, like his new house, in that aspect. Too damn thick-headed to let go and let the past settle.

Sliding down to the cool earth floor of his ramshackle home, the Qi'ora patted the resilient walls reassuringly. Adjusting to his new circumstances was going to be difficult, and perhaps he had been a might ambitious in what he could accomplish in his first trial here. No amount of shoving would shift a wall, and no amount hamming would save a rotted roof. Seemed like he and this house needed the same thing. A fresh start, at a steady pace.

'Fix what you need, what you can. Not what you want.'

His old mentor's voice whispered quietly in his mind. Treanor, a woman far more clever than he, had discovered earlier how quickly Bakar could fixate on a problem. He supposed he could be forgiven for seeing the world as nails when he had been raised with hammer in hand, but it was not always a helpful perspective. Sighing, he took stock of his home. The walls could wait, and he didn't have tools to fix his bedframe, so what did he need to fix?

Eyes landing on the empty holes in his home masquerading as windows and the fallen slabs of would underneath them, Bakar nodded quietly to himself. This would be his first Cold Cycle outside of the Hotlands, and he would need to ensure his house stayed warm. Reseting slanted walls might've taken a team, but he could set shutters by himself.

Bakar would need to thank Treanor when he saw her next, but that was not a new experience for the Qi'ora. He opened his rupsack, grabbed a hammer and a handful of nails, and set about to begin fixing what he could.

He raised the broken shutter to the wooden wall, and nearly dropped it as his pale eyes met bright ones through that hole in the wall.

Apparently, a neighbor had decided to drop by and welcome him to the neighborhood.
word count: 539
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Bakar
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Re: For Want of a Nail

The young man, his neighbor, had dark skin, bright eyes, and an even brighter smile. He was clad much in the style of the Dust Quarter, which was to say absent many of the markings of a stable financial life. Ratty, mud-stained clothes to match his matted, mud-stained hair, Bakar could barely even tell the color underneath the layers of sweat and clumps of what he only hoped was dirt. Still, even his circumstance could not dim that man's smile, and the qi'ora did not need to speak their strange tongue to understand his neighbor's friendly intent.

Still, it would be helpful.

They sat together on the , quietly examining each other. He wished he could break the silence, but Bakar was unsure if the pair of them shared a language. It was odd, just sitting and looking at one another. However, Bakar was sure he was a stranger sight to the man than the man was to him. The qi'ora stood out among his own kind, and the lingering glances at the tapestry of ink-black veins that wove themselves up and down his body were familiar to him. His neighbor's eyes did not seem to bear ill will however, nor shock or fear. He just appeared intrigued.

"Common?" The stranger asked, breaking the silence first.

"Bad." Bakar replied simply, but even so short a reply felt jagged and rough in his mouth. He was used to his words flowing from throat to tongue, like the rare river formed from the Hotland's even rarer rains. Speaking Common felt like spitting sharp stones out into the air.

"Bad." his neighbor agreed, nodding in response. Bakar couldn't help but laugh at their shared misery, and he was thankful that his fellow also found their circumstance funny.

The stranger pointed to himself. "Rahin."

The qi'ora's brows knit together in confusion, then smoothed as realization dawned on him. His neighbor was giving his name, and from the man's expectant look he was inquiring about the same.

"Bakar."

Rahin nodded in response, smiling broadly that the qi'ora had caught his latent intent. Bakar tracked his neighbor's eyes as they wandered across the room. He supposed that other's might've been embarrassed at the state of their home when entertaining their first guest, but pride in possessions was too rich a good fro men like Rahin and Bakar to afford.

Bakar watched his neighbor's eyes brighten as they landed on the idle hammer that sat underneath the still unaddressed hole in his wall.

"Maker?"

Bakar took a moment to ponder the word Rahin spoke. He hadn't heard it before, and his limited vocabulary was rapidly becoming stretched thin. Rahin seemed to catch the confusion, and began to pantomime using the hammer while making various thunking sounds.

"Yes! Yes! Maker," Bakar beamed, both at learning a new word and his new friend's excited gaze.

Excitement was soon again replaced with confusion when Rahin suddenly rose and began hurriedly gibbering in that unknown tongue Bakar had encountered earlier. He pointed to the hammer, then back to Bakar, and made large fanning motions with his arms. Seeing what the uncertainty plain on Bakar's face, Rahin moved to grab the hammer.

Bakar hadn't even realized he had moved as his hand clamped around Rahin's wrist. The qi'ora's eyes had turned stony, his face pulled back into a snarl. Something primal, deeper than himself had seized him, even now as he seized his neighbor.

"Bad." His voice had dropped low. There was danger clear and present in his growl.

Rahin slowly released his loose grasp on the hammer. He looked up at Bakar with confusion, and more than a little fear.

"Bad," his neighbor agreed.

The hammer fell to the ground with a solid thud. For a moment, both men stood frozen, a breath away from violence. Bakar could feel his muscles cord and tense with an unfamiliar, but not unwelcome, aggression. Slowly, slowly, he uncoupled his hand from Rahin's wrist. The man retreated quickly towards, quietly hissing and rubbing his bruised wrist.

Even then, however, Rahin looked towards Bakar with hopeful eyes. Again he pointed to the hammer, and then to Bakar. Desperation made the man quick to forgive, it seemed.

"Help. Please. Help."
word count: 728
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Doran
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Re: For Want of a Nail (Part I)

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Bakar:

Knowledge:
Engineering: Assessing a wall slant
Engineering: Assessing a faulty roof
Politics: Wealth disparity
Politics: Poverty's impact on quality of life
Linguistics: Common - Using a little to say a lot
Linguistics: Common - Common word - "Maker"

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: Your description of Bakar entering the Dust Quarter and eventually arriving at his new home was beautifully written in my opinion. I could in fact almost see those scenes in front of my inner eye!

I’m glad that Bakar wasn’t too disappointed when he realized that his new home was in bad shape though. When I read that the house was nearly as stubborn as he was, I couldn't help but smirk a bit. I loved the way that you described the house – and that you gave it personality!

A thread about a house in need of repairs could have been boring, but this thread was anything but!

The interaction between Bakar and his neighbor Rahin was interesting as well. The two men belong to different races, and there’s the language barrier as well, but they something in common, nevertheless. Pride in possessions is too rich a good for men like Rahin and Bakar to afford. At the same time, the ending of the thread provided a bit of excitement.

I’m glad that things didn’t escalate though!

It will be interesting to find out how things between Bakar and Rahin will progress!

Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 253

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