• PM To Join • The Snow Tunnel (Finn)

Determined to Pray to her Immortal Niv tunnels under the snow.

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Niv
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The Snow Tunnel (Finn)

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73rd day of Zi’da, Arc 717

Niv dug her twiggy hands into the cold snow and pushed it aside, her other hand following suit. The snow storm had hit Ne’hear hard and left a thick blanket of white in it’s wake. This made travel difficult for everyone but nothing was going to keep Niv from praying to Ymiden. She was bound to arrive at the eastern temple any trial now in the tunnel she had dug in the snow. She had worked on it for a few trials in fact, and had almost burned through the sack full of dried bugs she'd brought to snack on. The Tunawa’s hands had lost their feeling but the rest of her felt surprisingly warm in the isolated tunnel. She only felt the chill of the air when she popped her head out for directions.

Niv suddenly noticed the grip of hunger in her sap, and stopped digging in order to fish out a tasty morsel to satisfy it. She pulled out the sad remains of an earwig and shoved it in her mouth. The dried carcass didn’t have the fresh pop or the gratifying bit of oozing that came from live bugs but beggars couldn’t be choosers. Niv only had one half of a moth left and it was a sad crumpled mess that was sure to taste like a clump of dust.

With her break over, Niv felt it was as good a time as any to get her bearings. She started taking snow from a slightly higher position in order to head slowly to the surface without compromising the structure of the snow above. After a few moments of careful digging, Niv broke through the surface. She cleared out a hole big enough for her head and poked it though. After Niv’s glassy eyes adjusted from the dark of the tunnels to light of the sun, they widened in happiness and disbelief at the sight of the Eastern temples unique architecture.

After a lot more digging and a bit of searching, Niv found herself in front of the Main hall doorway with no idea how to get inside. It would have been a large door for a human but for a Tunawa it was massive and looked heavy too.
“Anyone Dere?” Niv asked as she knocked on the door with her tiny appendages that made little to no sound on contact but stung each time they did. “I come ere ta pray, It was looooong travel and it very very cold.” Her voice trembled as tried her best to fight back golden tears of sap.


Art credit to Yoshitaka Amano
word count: 454
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Finn
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The Snow Tunnel (Finn)

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It wasn't much warmer inside the Main hall. Even in the library, Finn was wearing his coat albeit open. He was no longer missing the heat of hotlands and grew accustomed to milder weather, but he still had a tendecy to get cold rather fast.

And amidst the rays of sunlight as it basked the roofs of the temple in its warmth, some believed that in the crowd that came to celebrate the grand opening they saw the two Immortals for whom the temple was built. Vhalar and Ymiden were told to walk towards the Main Hall together and disappear within its shadows. Some say that during the sundown or with the fires breathing inside the walls, the statues within almost appear alive as if they had a soul.

In contemplation, Finn looked up from the words away into the distance. A smirk so delicate yet knowing graced his lips as he recalled events of many arcs ago. Stone was but a stone without a life. It was just a representation of the Immortals, nothing more. They chose when they came and to whom they spoke. With a soft thud "The Histories of the Eastern Temple" was closed. Few seasons back, Finn organized this whole place alphabetically and with pride in his eyes, he looked over the order that still reigned inside the room. Putting the book back to its rightful position on the shelf, it was time to check the two fire bowls within the prayer hall.
Outside, one of the aide maidens was making her way back from Hall of Rebirth after helping at a ritual which was still in progress. It was only thanks to that young woman who noticed the twig person at the doorstep of the Main hall that the tiny Tunawa was not left outside to freeze.
"Oh hi there! So sorry about that. We don't get that many Tunawa's here. Please do come in." The girl said apologetically, opening the heavy door with some considerable pressure. The whole temple was rebuild to be stronger after the Vhalar attacks which also included that door.
Inside, there stood a man by one of the fire bowls were ambers shone straight into his face with flaming shades of heat. He was tending to the fire with a rod, poking the burning coals, inciting the slumbering hungry beast back to life. The fire bowl on the other side of the hall was yet to be attended to. From his work, Finn looked up at the sound of the door being opened to see who let the chilling breath of air rushing in which only came to steal the hard earned glow. In those few trills, it indeed almost seemed like it was not only the three of them alive within the temple.
word count: 475
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They do not yet understand the purpose of forgiveness. It is not to spare wrongdoers a punishment they deserve. It is to spare the injured ones the ongoing pain they do not.

~ Ymiden
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Niv
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The Snow Tunnel (Finn)

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“Dank yews priestess” Niv quickly wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled up at the women before scurrying in.
Niv felt much better after entering the large temple, despite there not being much difference in tempature. The feeling of relief that someone answered her plea was enough to make the temple feel warmer than it actually was.

Niv did think it was a bit strange that not many Tunawa visited the temple considering it was dedicated to their creator. She didn’t let it show on her face and just assumed the women meant during the cold cycle. Considering the lengths Niv had to do to arrive it was no wonder the temple didn’t get many of tunawa appearing on their doorstep.

“What purpose do you have at the temple little one?” The kind women smiled brightly as she did her best to bend down to Niv’s level. The women practically folded herself into a ball to match Niv’s height but was still a few feet taller than the 7 inch tall Tunawa.

“I pray, where I goes?” Niv nodded and returned the women’s smile. The Tunawa did her best not to chuckle at the strange pose the priestess was doing. Niv knew it was done out of politeness but still didn’t understand why tall folk felt they needed to do such silly gestures. Was being small really such a bad thing?

The women pointed to the prayer hall with another smile.
“Would you like if I carried you?” She provided her cupped hands for Niv to jump onto but the Tunawa only shook her head.

“I do dis wit meh legs, No worry,” Niv assured her with a dismissive wave of the hand. Being carried by humans was fine once in a while but she was perfectly capable of walking herself. The last thing she wanted was for people to think she was a helpless child, at 7 years old she should be old enough to do things herself.

“Well I’ll leave you too that then.” The women pulled herself up, gave the tunawa a bow and continued down another hallway.

Niv trekked over to prayer hall almost immediately regretting the decision to walk by herself. She had forgotten the ache that was in her legs from her travels, having grown accustomed to it during the few days in the warm snow tunnel. The idea that she would eventually get to rest kept her going and like a silly goose she had let a perfect opportunity pass her by.

When Niv was able to finally arrive, her eyes widened at the horror of a growing fire in the temple.
“Jere! Jere!” Niv shouted in Xanthea “Anou bysez hìtua kana ïtẹsïwäju ainev!” The Tunawa pointed at the fire with urgency. She had no idea why there was bowls filled with the red beast in Ymiden’s sacred temple or why a man would be foolish enough to stand so close them.
“Git away from dere! deh fire will eat yews silly man!” Niv yelled harshly at the man out of concern for his life.


Art credit to Yoshitaka Amano
Last edited by Niv on Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 537
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Finn
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The Snow Tunnel (Finn)

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There, on the far side of the hall, Finn saw a young maiden entering the hall with a smaller shadow following behind. His heart gave two strong pumps, his mind still not entirely recovered from adventures past. The initial apprehensive nature melted away soon, however, as he saw who their visitor was. With his mind at ease, Finn casually made it to the second fire bowl, poking at the coals, the ambers throwing light in an eclectic manner across his face. The heat felt like gentle fingers across his skin. Then his heart jumped at the clamour. Xanthea rang with melodic resonance across the hall as fear spiked in the air and his eyes darted towards the little being. It appeared distressed and it was not hard to guess what the source of its upset was, not as far as he understood her words. Carefully removing the poking rod and resting it on the side, he did as instructed, yet with little haste.
"It fine. No worry." He spoke in broken Xanthea as he made his way towards the guest, dropping to one knee just a few steps away from her.
"The fire is completely under control. It won't burn anyone." The priest reassured the woman, with a confident nod and a subtle smile. His casual behaviour was not careless, but harmonious. Within these walls, it was clear that he was a man of faith, belonging to the premises just as much as the statues erected behind him did.
"But thanks for caring. What shall I call you?" He then asked curiously, extending his palm towards her, not in a gesture for a handshake as he was aware, it would not entirely work, but in a conversational manner.
word count: 296
Favourite quote:
They do not yet understand the purpose of forgiveness. It is not to spare wrongdoers a punishment they deserve. It is to spare the injured ones the ongoing pain they do not.

~ Ymiden
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Niv
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The Snow Tunnel (Finn)

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Niv should have expected the clergy to know at least a little Xanthea, but it had been such a long time since she heard someone speak it that her eyes pooped open in bewilderment. That man was calm and collected, despite the threatening dance the fire was doing near by. He calmly explained to Niv that the fire was contained and he seemed confidently enough that she let go of a bit of the tension in her body. She still looked at the fire with a harsh narrowed gaze, Niv trusted the man but the beastly fire was another story. The fire probably had some kind of trick up its sleeve and Niv wanted it to know that she was watching it carefully.

“I Niv.” She hit her chest with a single beat of her fist with a frown still held on her face. The tunawa wanted to be more friendly or even apologetic after accosting the poor man but she felt trapped in a perpetual state of fear and anger. Internally she was quivering but she knew she had to stay strong so as not to give the fire beast the satisfaction that he was getting to her.

Wat I call yews?” Niv held out a fist to meet the mans offered hand, stretching it out far enough to tap it against his finger tips like she had done with Patrick. Handshakes were another gesture that humans clearly kept trying to do with her. It didn’t work with her size but her mouth still twitched up a bit in an almost smile as she did the action. She nodded as she heard the mans name and put it in her memory banks, A good tunawa always makes sure to get the names of local shamans to the Immortals.

“I comes pray teh deh Immortals oh great Shaman Finn.” Niv bowed her head in respect “yews guy-doonce in deh matter would help meh very very much.” The tunawa dropped her bag to the floor and pulled out the crumpled moth. She then fell to one knee and held out the humble offering.
“Fresh bugs be hard teh find in cold times but I hopes yews still accept meh offering as payment”

Art credit to Yoshitaka Amano
word count: 385
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The Snow Tunnel (Finn)

He nodded at Niv with a hint of his own smile at the light tap of the little fist against his fingers.
”My name’s Finn.” He completed the introductions and withdrew his limb. This little one seemed different to his other Tunawa friend. She seemed rougher around the edges in terms of personality. Perhaps, it was the strong accent in the words, in the way she spoke the common tongue that almost made it sound broken. Yet, something also told him she was fierce as her eyes of defiance kept flickering back towards the fire. It told him enough he needed to know. He wouldn’t place it down straight away as fear that she might feel, but he would guess it might lie beneath the sensation of bravery she was trying to display in the face of the flame.
He was little versed in the Tunawa culture and customs, however. He had little chances to learn of those during his stay in Desnind many arcs ago, or from conversations with Ailluin. Hence, Niv’s humble offering warmed him as well as confused him slightly when he looked at the bug. Though he felt it did not belong to him, Finn took it nonetheless. He could always place it by Ymiden’s altar later on, in Niv’s stead as the priest was aware that if he were to beg her to go closer to the fires, she might not appreciate it.
”Thank you, Niv.” He took the moth of the extended palms and deposited it safely in his pocket. She came asking for guidance and now that the offering was made, it was time to take the the Tunawa where she could relax.
Extending his hand forward again, palm up, he offered it as a platform for her to ride if she so chose to. “I know a place where it will be easier to talk.” If she were to take him up on the unspoken offer of giving her a ride, he’d lift her carefully and make his way out of the great hall. If not, he’d walk accordingly for Niv to follow without any difficulty. Either way, he was taking the pilgrim where usual visitors were not allowed. But it was an exception as the little being needed comfort, or so Finn thought. He was taking her back to the library.
word count: 404
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They do not yet understand the purpose of forgiveness. It is not to spare wrongdoers a punishment they deserve. It is to spare the injured ones the ongoing pain they do not.

~ Ymiden
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Niv
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The Snow Tunnel (Finn)

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“I comes wit yews” Niv bowed her head and confidently walked on the hand offered to her without protest. She didn’t want to have to walk again if she didn’t have to and She knew Finn could be trusted. Niv was pretty confident in her ability to tell who was good and who was bad and a Shaman of Ymiden was good without question.

She climbed the man’s arm quickly, using the cloth of his sleeves as leverage until she made her way to his shoulders. She fond a nice spot where she could see his face but still allow for him to move his arms freely. Tunawa were always very light and Niv was no exception so she was unlikely to cause him any discomfort.

Niv was silent during the trip but her head still darted about to different things that caught her interest. Most doors in the hallways were closed but Niv could catch glimpses of ceremonies going on behind cracks in the doors. There was still the sound different hymns and chanting that Niv could easily listen to through the walls. Although the lyrics were too muffled for Niv to understand, Niv still found the atmosphere they created to be very calming.

Upon entering the Library Niv looked around at the books that covered the ground with keen interest.
“Any of dese books in Xanthea, I no read common words good” Niv asked as she looked at the books rune covered binders.

Art credit to Yoshitaka Amano
word count: 260
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The Snow Tunnel (Finn)

Finn did not bother to hide the gentle smile on his face as he felt the light pressure on his hand, the pull on his clothes as the Tunawa made her masterful climb up his frame. He's felt it before. The memory was endearing, warming him up just like the fires that burnt down the hall. The silence that followed felt natural. It was casual and relaxed filled with his footstep, soft murmurs of other priests and maidens in training. Yet, the further they've gone into the temple, the colder it got. It wasn't a radical change in temperature but a slight drop that would most certainly soon get Finn's fingers tight with the chill.
Then with a quiet sweep of the door, they've entered the library, Finn's pride. He tilted his head a little bit to try and simulate a conversation with proper face to face, eye to eye characteristics, but it was more a habit than a terrible imitation or attempt.
"Hmmm, I think there is one or two. The rest are translations." Finn murmured in thought as he made it to the organised shelves. He wanted to improve in his own spoken Xanthea and than he was hoping to do some translations himself. But that target was still a way away.
In pensive search, the tips of his fingers lightly ran across the spines of the books, eyes flickered from one place to another. Those were not eyes of a man lost, but a man seeking and knowing he would find what he was looking for.
"Ah. We do." A quiet victory resonated in those few words as his eyes became fixed on a very thin book on the top shelf to the left. It read simply "The Origins" in Xanthea. Still, it was alphabetically slotted in the right place as if it belonged there from the beginnings of time.
"Hold on, Niv. I'll retrieve it for you." Finn warned the Tunawa as he went to collect a ladder he kept in the corner of the room.
"Correct me if I am wrong, but am I guessing right that you came to worship Ymiden?" Finn attempted to strike a conversation as he positioned the ladder to climb it to their destination.
word count: 388
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They do not yet understand the purpose of forgiveness. It is not to spare wrongdoers a punishment they deserve. It is to spare the injured ones the ongoing pain they do not.

~ Ymiden
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It took Niv a little longer to notice the chill in the air than it did for Finn, She shivered a little but didn’t want to admit that she needed the fires warmth. The Tunawa tried to let her interest in the books and in conversation overshadow the chill she felt.

“Oh dats good, reading so hard since I gots here. I don’t dink one book written in Xanthea, have teh read words I not know…Take soooo many time.” Niv frowned and used her hands to convey her words with exaggerated gestures.

“Oh Deh Origins. So when Moskeke and Ymiden made deh world.” Niv responded matter of factly like she was simply regurgitating common knowledge. Niv had little to no knowledge of the original beings or the other Immortals that were worshiped around the world. She just thought she did.


“Oh yes dat wat I came here teh do.” She paused a moment as she looked for the right words, frowning in focus as she did. “um…how do yews pray in human temples…I dink Tunawa do things… differently.”
Niv remembered chanting in a large group of gathered tunawa to the immortals, there was even singing allowed and celebrations in the Immortals name.
“How humans do deh prey in dis fore..I mean city?” Niv leaned in to show her interest. She was in this city so she might as well learn how to do things properly. When she got home she would have something to share with her family and friends. Not many Tunawa got the chance to travel the world and the few that did never seemed to come back. A horrible thought suddenly crossed Niv’s mind and her face drooped wistfully. She stood silently for a moment not acknowledging her surroundings.


Art credit to Yoshitaka Amano
word count: 311
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The Snow Tunnel (Finn)

Niv

Overview

What a shame this thread got abandoned - it was becoming really interesting and I loved the relationship between the two of you. Niv was uniquely herself and she and Finn could have been great friends, I think. I love your writing, I'm sorry this thread didn't work out, but I hope to see the two of you writing together another time! Any questions, drop me a PM!

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Finn: If you return to the site, please just submit your review request for your part of this thread, and we'll get to it in turn. Thanks!
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