• Graded • Sense of cosmetics (Linika)

Memory, Arc 704: Unfortunately, Sel'ma tracks Linika and ...

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Sel'ma
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Sense of cosmetics (Linika)

Thoughts and feelings ran through the mind of the sev’ryn as she realized the naerikk hadn’t thrown the necklace at random. She understood common well enough to get the core of what the naerikk said. The girl was stranded and had nothing to lose, and she threatened to destroy the amulet and kill Sel’ma.

The death threat to Sel’ma herself was no news.

She had been offered to back off in order to save a necklace. Although she wanted her amulet, she wasn't so stupid that she wanted to risk her life to get it back.

As she saw it, the naerikk was once again holding an amulet that Sel’ma believed dealt bad luck to her. This was how it supported it's true owner now. To Sel’ma this meant she had the edge and it was time to use it at once, before she lost it. If she retreated, it would give the naerikk time to think and plan her next attack, and there was nothing that said the amulet would be spared. Sel'ma couldn't know anything about the naerikk's plans and what she really wanted. All she knew was the fight was still going on and the other girl was trying some trick.

There was never only one single thing that could happen in the wilderness. There were always other options, other paths to take, other solutions to things. This was basic wilderness survival knowledge. Wild animals were skilled at hunting, but they were limited in their way of thinking, and expected the prey to do as they were supposed to do. This was why the humans had an advantage; at least the humans who were smart enough to recognize simple traps when they saw them.

She changed strategy and charged instantaneously. But she didn’t even try to take the amulet. The naerikk was welcome to hold it and get her bad luck! Instead, Sel’ma attacked Linikas right arm. She tried to get a good grip around the wrist with both her hands and turn the knife on her opponent. She wouldn't shy away from biting again if she got a chance to do it.
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Linika
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Surprise froze Linika for a fateful moment. A moment which allowed the sev'ryn to get hold of her knife hand. 'The girl is rutting crazy!' she gasped silently. But for all the seeming recklessness of her adversary's tactic, it had resulted in her own single good hand being overpowered by the sev'ryn's two. And Linika knew her other hand would quickly be shown to be more of a liability than an asset, with its broken finger, if she tried to use it. It would almost immediately be shown to be weak and in pain; a definite edge for her enemy.

But she could feel the knife being slowly turned away from a strategic position to a threatening one, and she couldn't do anything about it. Plus, it would only be a moment before the sev'ryn realized that there was some reason she wasn't using her left hand to thwart the hold. She had to do something fast.

But then her training came back to her. While there was no slick move she'd learned yet to overpower the strength of two hands with only one, she could redirect it into momentum instead, and possibly gain the control of it. Instead of resisting the direction the sev'ryn was working the blade, she went with it. She took steps back, spinning to pull the knife hand in the same direction the sev'ryn was twisting it. It didn't oppose the force of her adversary's strength, but it neutralized the effect of the sev'ryn's tactic, making it more of a stalemate.

Linika continued to turn and backpedal, giving with the sev'ryn's twisting, manipulating her relative position to her instead, so the hold on the arm with the knife gained nothing. Her goal was to increase the pace of turning and retreating, until the shift of momentum became hers instead. Then she would have the instant of control she needed to trip the girl, spin her over her leg and flop her on the ground, she would put her knee into the sev'ryn's neck if she had to, and crush her throat.

As they "danced", Linika muttered angrily, "Stupid brat! All I want is to get out of here. I don't know if my sisters are even out there. You could have your damned necklace back if you'd knock this shit off."
Last edited by Linika on Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 406
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Sense of cosmetics (Linika)

The naerikk froze like the attack had surprised her totally. Sel’ma got hold of her knife hand and started to turn it. She heard the naerikk gasp something but didn’t pay heed to it. She focused all strength she had on turning the knife against the naerikk and as her enemy was only using one single hand, Sel’ma could feel that she started to overpower the other girl. The amulet seemed to have disabled the naerikks other hand once again. Well, well! A bad luck amulet for the naerikk was as useful as a good luck amulet for herself, Sel’ma concluded in passing by.

Sel’ma turned the naerikk’s hand with the knife slowly. The naerikk was still not even trying to use the other hand. If Sel’ma had had more time to think she might have reacted to how odd this was. But the naerikk started to backpedal instead of trying to resist the pressure on her arm and hand. Sel’ma continued to try to twist the knife against the naerikk, but the naerikk worked with her movements instead of against it. She kept stepping back, and pulling her hand in the same direction Sel’ma twisted it.

Sel’ma wasn’t stopped by this, but found herself unable to get at the naerikk. She heard the naerikk mutter something that sounded like “Have your amulet back” but she didn’t listen to this cheap try. She would take the amulet back any way. The sev’ryn continued with her tries to turn the knife on the naerikk despite how hard it had become. Stopping would give the naerikk the edge, so it was no option. She had to go on with what she had started. As the naerikk moved faster and faster Sel’ma increased her speed too, and tried to move even faster. But the naerikk was moving with the speed of desperation.

At this age, fourteen arcs, Sel’ma had not yet come into the full sev’ryn senses that would maybe develop and mature more during the years to come, in case she would survive the fix. But being sev’ryn she was born with the beginnings of spiritual senses. Just like when she had been able to track the captain on the ship she had visited before she had went to the beach, she now got sudden faint impressions on the side of the plain usual senses she shared with the mere humans.

Maybe it was because they were fighting and the naerikk was nearer to her and she still held the girls wrist with her hands. There was still the vague hint of a “fragrance” she had felt earlier like a mental "smell". And now she also had an even vaguer inner vision that fluttered for a split trill in her mind, just a shadow of a color, gone again as quickly as it had turned up. It left her with the fleeting memory of something reddish, nothing more. For another split trill, she was distracted, when her brain automatically tried to recall the perception, before she turned her full attention to the naerikk again.

But it was too late.

The utterly brief introspection and search for the elusive reddish impression would turn out to be fatal.

Sel’ma had lost just a tiny bit of her attention and focus, but the naerikk had maybe noticed, because she made an extra fast leap. Before Sel’ma had time to let go of her opponents wrist, she was already pulled forward and felt that she was losing control over her own movement. Instinctively she tried to resist it, but in vain. The naerikk tripped her, and unable to stop Sel’ma fell forward on the ground, and hit the side of her head on a stone that was embedded in the sand. It wasn't a big stone and she wasn't knocked out, but she was delayed.

She tried to roll to the side and avoid getting trapped under the naerikk of course, but unprepared as she had been she had wasted a trill being groggy after hitting her head and she wasn't able to make it.
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Linika could not have guessed what could have caused her enemy to lose focus for that crucial instant, nor did she care. Her response was automatic. She pulled and crouched in one movement, adding gravity to her strength, and kicked her leg out to the side. This not only gave a her a slight edge in stability, it also provided the means to topple the sev'ryn into the dirt. The momentum was a little more than she was prepared for, and she too rolled on the ground. But she was a spring in action, arcing and kicking to her feet, expecting to catch the other girl rising to her knees.

She would have probably driven the blade into her chest in such a situation, but the need was delayed. The sev'ryn lay on her face, trying to roll over. Linika wasted no time puzzling over the girl's sudden lack of energy, opting to simply capitalize on it instead. She dropped hard on the girl's back, snagging a handful of hair with the good fingers on her left hand, and sliding the edge of the blade alongside her enemy's throat with the right. She took a few recuperative breaths, still amazed that she'd ended up needing them.

"I've got to hand it to you, girl...Me with a knife, you with fruit...I get the drop on you, from behind even...and still, you almost had me. Now you just sit tight for a moment, I've got something I need to tend to, and I don't want to have to bash your head in, okay?"

She was a little bit unsettled that the girl said nothing, but she cut a portion of the hem from her shirt and took a few more deep breaths. Then, in anticipation of dreadful pain, she screamed and pulled her broken finger straight to set it back in line. It was only a hairline type break, but it still tore her soul with pain. then she quickly wrapped the strip of cloth around it, binding her two smallest fingers together.

Several shuddering breaths later, she wiped tears from her eyes and started talking to the girl beneath her. "You don't say much, do you. Well that's fine, since I only want you to listen. Now you've earned enough respect from me that I'm not going to feed you some crap about this just being a big misunderstanding. No ma'am, we are enemies, no two ways about it. And right about now, you must be realizing, the same as me, that the smartest thing for me to do is just cut your throat and be done with it."

She let that sink in a moment, teasing the slender throat with a bit more pressure, then continued. "Well, the problem is, that wouldn't be the end of it. I am stranded here by this storm and want to get back, but my ship has shown no sign of being out there. I can't get through these cursed woods of yours and I don't feel like swimming a thousand stinkin' miles. You freaks have probably got trained sharks in these damned waters, anyway! So here's the deal, we both want me gone, but I need a boat. I can't get one myself, but with all the chaos in the docks, there's shit stacked up that could be...well...'borrowed for a good cause', ya know? You help me find my ship and I give you back your jewelry and leave. Otherwise, it really is true that the only smart thing for me to do is kill you right now."

She waited a moment longer, letting her words sink in, then realized that if this girl didn't speak common, any attempt at striking a deal was wasted. "But first, I need to know you even understand what I'm saying, so here's what we'll do. I'm going to get off, but you stay on the ground! Ya hear? You even try to get up and I pin you to the dirt with this knife. You are going to stay on the ground and tell me, in your own words, the deal I just offered you, so I know you understand it. Then you're going to tell me if you agree to the terms. Now, I'm no fool. I know that you may think that the threat of death gives you the right to lie to me. And in truth, I have no answer to that. But I just let you live and maybe that will mean something to you. So here we go..."

Linika rose from her knee-straddling position and stepped to the side of the prone sev'ryn girl, knife in one hand, crude bandage on the other, waiting to see what she would do.
Last edited by Linika on Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:38 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 823
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It was true that Sel’ma hadn’t been so chatty during the fight. Still a bit shocked by the turn of events she wondered what the naerikk meant by “don’t speak so much”. But listening to the long and wordy speeches she was given she guessed the naerikk must be extremely chatty. Absurdly, Sel’ma’s brain took time for a sidetrack about how this might be a consequence of the whole naerikk race being all female people and sisters. How could Sel’ma start to think of pirate ships full of prattling naerikks who kept chit-chatting their way over the seas?

Ooooh, babble, babble, babble, chit-chat, prattely-prat ... banter, slander, gossip, rant!

Once she had thought of it she tried to ban this thought as the situation was serious indeed and it’s just wasn’t the right time to laugh hysterically. Like always when people try to ban thoughts it stuck with her to no end. It had the usual effect of making fun of deadly dangerous people in charge of everything; the secret ridicule made the naerikk seem less dangerous. This gave Sel’ma the energy to compose herself and think strategically despite the dire straits she was in. Luckily she didn’t have the slightest knowledge about how little the naerikk actually used to speak and how they often used silent sign language.

When she felt the cold metal grace her neck and heard the naerikk tell her to lay still she lay still and when the naerikk did whatever made her scream like she had been hit by an arrow Sel’ma continued to lay still. Not that she thought to fool the naerikk, but feigning death was one of the last resorts a person could take in a losing fight against a wild predator; it was a question about surviving at all cost in the wilds, and this situation was essentially the same, just with a naerikk. She did it out of habit.

The first part of her quickly concocted new strategy was naturally to not do anything that could make the naerikk change her mind about letting Sel’ma live. She would definitely not say no to this offer. So she would play along. But. This alone wouldn’t be enough, not really, because as all sev’ryn knew no naerikk could be trusted. Sel’ma was sure there was a hatch and the naerikk had some trick up the sleeve.

All the things the mouthy naerikk had to say gave Sel’ma time to think of this and come up with a solution while she listened. It was obvious that the naerikk was in a fix and needed Sel’ma or else she would already be dead. And it wouldn’t be so easy for the naerikk to replace her. Right now she was needed, and all the lengthy babbling gave her time to realize that this was a kind of small and temporary edge.

The naerikk seemed to not be sure if Sel’ma understood common or not. Ha! She had been told by world experienced older sev’ryn that people outside Desnind often were prejudiced against sev’ryn and thought them nothing else than stupid goofs and ignorant natives full of foolish ideas about all kinds of total crap. One tip she had been given when she had listened to their stories was the playing stupid nearly always was a safe bet. Not only would she play along and do as she was told while she waited for an opportunity to abscond without dying, she would also play stupid in order to try to lull the naerikk into underestimating her. That way she might gain the advantage of surprise later on. So, this was the second part of her strategy so far.

Given the other girls cocksure style now when she had the edge, the sev'ryn expected her to believe Sel’ma was silly just because she wasn't so proficient in common. It would perhaps not be so hard to pull this off. She would start with obediently following the instructions. But she would also make herself come off as stupid and a bad common speaker. It was a risk. But she wasn’t going to totally agree at once; instead she would foolishly accept the offer, but in an unclear way, and act like she was silly and thought she was in a position to negotiate.

“Uh-huh ... “ she said. As her common was a bit lacking she didn’t need to pretend so much when she continued. Bad common came to her naturally. “Sel’ma speak little, say own words. We enemies, you knife, me fruit, I agree. You give luck amulet back. Then I get boat. I live. You go to sea. Big shark comes. Farewell, alright. We have deal. Common understanding ... uh, stand now?”

If she was lucky she might be able to run away as soon as she went to fetch the boat.
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Somehow, Linika was not convinced. It mostly stemmed from the weakness of her position. This had nothing to do with the knife, or her splinted finger. It was the fact that, ultimately, she was dependent upon her captive being willing to cooperate just on a basis of not having been murdered. Sure, she had said the words, but Linika knew as well as anyone how unreliable words were. There were a thousand slaves in Augiery that could attest to that.

'This girl is not going to feel that she owes me anything out of some sense of thanks for not murdering her.' The naer thought sourly. 'And this amulet thing is not as important to her as it first looked.' It occurred to her that the sev'ryn may have deliberately played her up to think it was, just so she could quickly abandon the thing to jump on a chance to turn her in. 'What do I really have, to force her to do anything. If she goes for help, I'm sunk. She acts like she's willing to help, just so I'll leave. But can I really trust that?'

But the option of going with her, trying to act nonchalant, to make sure she kept to the plan, was almost certain to fail. Linika knew she did not look like a sev'ryn. And what little cosmetic or disguise-related espionage skills she knew were useless without the materials to create some fake outfit. And even then she'd have keep the knife out of sight. 'Kind of hard to keep a knife to someone's throat when it has to be kept out of sight.' she scowled. The most likely ending to this was that she'd be discovered, and have to decide whether or not to kill the sev'ryn out of retribution for not cooperating, and gain a harsher reprisal from her captors.

She had some doubts that the sev'ryn would actually execute her. They had some silly notions about the 'sanctity of life' or some such shit, but they'd certainly imprison her. No, she'd rather be dead than stuck in a Desnind prison. 'Too bad for this crazy sev'ryn girl, because it means she'll die too.' Linika said, steeling herself for the mayhem to come. She was not afraid to die, she had gotten her job done. When that 'Wind Spirit' sailed out, it would be captured by her sisters' ship...'If it's still out there after this storm.'

They had reached the edge of the woods, where they broke upon the beach. To the left would be the way back to Desnind; the way the sev'ryn would be going on the way to betray her and get them both killed. To the right was unimportant. It just led to more and more beach; a thousand miles of it between here and her city of Augiery.

She was about to dismiss it as irrelevant when she saw something. Maybe the sev'ryn's mind was full of plots, since she didn't seem to notice. But none of it mattered now. Now Linika knew she had the leverage she needed to make this troublesome bitch do what she was told. Linika shoved her hard to the left and took several quick steps to the right, to be sure she had the edge in reaching the new target; a lone sev'ryn child, a little girl, doing some innocent beachcombing.

Linika looked back to the sev'ryn's horrified face. 'Oh yes, she realizes the situation has changed now.' Linika could not suppress her laughter entirely. Her smile was pure poison as she waved the knife where only her "slave' could see it, then gesturing toward the little girl an hundred feet away. "You'll do what you agreed to now, won't you!" she crowed in sing-song malice, "I don't really need to tell you what's at stake, do I?" Then her voice turned harsh as a wood rasp, "Now go and get that boat!"
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This wasn’t the right time for playing stupid.

Sel’ma didn’t even try to pretend that she hadn’t understood the new situation.

Now when the naerikk had put some distance between them, Sel’ma could dash towards Desnind, run and get reinforcements. The sole young naerikk wouldn’t stand a chance to hide and get away undetected if this happened. Then again, if she hadn’t done anything criminal she would of course not be punished for anything; being shipwrecked and stranded on the shore outside Desnind after a storm that might have sunk the ship she had been on wasn’t a crime. If that was all, she would of course still be seen as suspect due to being naerikk, but the sev’ryn would likely just take care of her until they could put her on next departing ship that would accept her. “Wind Spirit” for example, which was soon going to leave the city, rumor had it.

Oh, yes, that was what would have happened to the naerikk if she had simply spoken to Sel’ma when they first met, told her she was stranded and worried that the ship she had been on had sunk in the storm. She would have been seen for what she was, a naerikk, but also a still very young naerikk in distress. Nothing bad would have happened to her, they would just have found a ship for her to go away on. They might even have paid “Wind Spirit” to employ her as deckhand.

But the naerikk had behaved as stupidly and aggressively as one could expect from her sad and in many ways so limited race. She was obviously not able to think of anything else than murder as a solution to her troubles. In this way this naerikk truly seemed similar to a wild animal ruled by her instincts and with a limited set of reactions and actions. Sel’ma didn’t know if this observation was the beginnings of deeper understanding of the naerikk psyche and culture in general, of if it was just about this specific naerikk girl and her personality. But to Sel’ma the naerikk truly seemed like more of an animal than a human now, a being who wasn’t able to think outside what she had been born to be and taught to be.

The naerikk was like all other kinds of humans that weren't sev'ryn. The sev’ryn used to pity those humans in general, although for the sake of humanity they were treated like equals of course.

The situation was like it was now. The sev’ryn child would die in Sel’ma’s place if she didn’t do as the naerikk said. The naerikk was that stupid, it seemed. And against stupidity there was very little to do. This was why playing stupid had been a strategy Sel’ma had tried. But for the naerikk it was how she truly was. All sings pointed to this conclusion. So, if Sel’ma told on the naerikk, the murderous girl was likely to stupidly kill the sev’ryn child and get punished accordingly. And as she was still wearing the stolen amulet that brought her bad luck, this was extra likely.

In this moment Sel’ma knew with total certainty and conviction that she wasn’t going to let another die in her place in order to save her own skin. That kind of cowardly behavior wasn’t in her soul. She would deal with things and fight to last drop of blood to survive the way nature meant all living beings to do, but she would never sacrifice another in order to live. This wasn’t about the amulet anymore, and it wasn’t about her own life anymore, it was about something else which she didn’t yet have words for.

So be it.

She could have tried to speak with the naerikk. But she feared it was no idea to try to explain facts. So, Sel’ma just told the naerikk she was going to get the boat and come back. If he naerikk believed this or not, and if it meant the child would be spared or not, she didn’t know. She could only hope. And then she walked towards the harbor, aiming to find a suitable vessel in the outskirts.

As she walked away alone, she lifted her hand to the still sore place on the side of her head where it had hit the stone in the sand. She was bleeding; she had felt this for a while but had postponed to examine it. Now she traced it with her fingertips and felt the blood that had been stopped by her hair start to trickle slowly down the left side of her face. As she moved her hand in a reflex to wipe it away she accomplished the opposite and felt if spread and smear her cheek.

This was bad, as people would react if she was looking wounded. And even if she would wash it away, there was still the small wound and no guarantee that it wouldn’t send new blood down her face. There was only one thing to do about it.

Cosmetics.

Sel’ma stopped by a small puddle of water and used it as a mirror while she used the blood to paint an intricate pattern of powerful, meandering lines over her whole face. This way of painting their faces was often used by the sev'ryn. It was embellishing and striking, in a grotesque and gruesome way and was made with a strong sense of cosmetics and art. But the original and important purpose of it was camouflage when moving in the wilds.

Sel'ma's beautiful flowers were gone now, and her best skin dress wasn’t her best dress anymore. She walked into the outskirts of the harbor with her heavily painted face, the grim sev’ryn camouflage makeup made of blood making it clear to any bypassers that she was a hunter or fisher. As she started to work at preparing a boat, it looked totally legit.

Continues in Fishing in the debris
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Sel'ma
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Dodge: +2
Unarmed Combat: +4
Stealth: +1
Observation: +2
Tracking (Spiritually): +3

Basic Knowledge
Survival: Trusting Your Instincts
Observation: More Than One Solution To A Problem
Linika: Aura Like Sweet Acid
Linika: Enemy


Linika
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Espionage: +2
Tactics: +3
Unarmed Combats: +3
Weapon (Knife): +1
Intimidation: +2

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Mechanism: Using A Block and Tackle
Sel'ma: Fights Like A Savage
Sel'ma: A Special Amulet
Sel'ma: Enemy

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Tactics: Overpowering Combatants With Momentum

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Sel'ma's Amulet
Favorite Moments
  • Cloak trick utterly failing. Ooohh Linika. Silly Linika.
    Linika's response to getting bit. Hahahah!
    Oh my goodness, is Sel'ma throwing fruit at a Naerikk?!?
Notes
  • I think both you and Linika asked me about this when you started this thread. I found it a little confusing how Sel'ma was able to pin point the captain as quick as she did in the first post but throughout the rest of the RP, she seemed like a novice at this. Just keep in mind when roleplaying to go about it at your skill level. Sev'ryn are very spiritual, yes, but at Sel'ma age in this thread, she would have difficulty pin pointing any one person. After the first post, you described this the way it is meant to show, so awesome! But I just want to mention this for future threads.

    Also, keep in mind not to control other players actions. I saw a bit of it from both of you guys and even though fight scenes can be very engaging, you have to allow a response from the other player or fail at whatever action you attempt to make. I love roleplaying fight scenes and when I do, I try to leave all my actions open for my partner to confirm or deny. One example of this is... "Scowling at the Biqaj, En'yka leaned back and attempted to crush his face in with her boot before spinning around quickly, lifting a knife from its sheath at her hip to swipe at him with its sharp point." This sentence described 2-3 actions that my partner can either confirm or deny or both. I'm not saying to do things this way but try to leave your character's actions open for the other to respond to during a fight. Sometimes this calls for shorter posts and that's completely alright.

    Above all, this was an awesome thread to grade and I can't wait to see what you guys come up with in the continuation! As always, feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the grades you received. :)
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