• Graded • [Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind

Linika or Sel'ma, who will get to Desnind first

Here is the City in the Trees. Desnind, home of the Immortal Moseke and much more! All IC writings in Desnind go here.
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[Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind

A race to desnind


7 Ymiden 704 in Desnind, in the evening
Agreement of light control of each others character, same as in the previous thread


The sound of waves rolling in over the beach mixed with the sound of her breath until they sounded like one single sound and Sel’ma couldn’t separate them anymore. The sounds of water and breath was bleeding together with the sounds of the wind and the rustling of the sand and the beats of her heart, like the sounds of instruments in a tune. As the sevir lay there cold, half-conscious and motionless, her mind opened up without resistance to the peculiar music as it grew and embraced her awareness in a dreamlike state of spiritual perception. This was no willpower involved in this, it wasn’t anything Sel’ma did; it just happened, by itself.

Floating and dreamlike pictures never seen passed by and words never spoken echoed in her mind. After an unknown period of time another song begun to emerge, superimposed on the first, which resulted in a chaotic medley never meant to happen and confusing and maddening to hear, but floating over it was the sound of a child’s clear voice like or a flute, or both. In the dream it struck her, vaguely, elusively that this was an important melody, but her dreaming mind was bobbing in and out of focus and reached for it in vain, unable to grasp what it was about. It faded out again and was gone. But the first tune was still going on repeat, breath and waves and wind and heart, and in the middle of it a small dot that was her.

A small dot that was her. This, the thought came to her in the dream, this is me. This is who I am.
Who I am who I am who I am who I am ... an echo answered, mixing with the tune of her dream like vocals had been added.

With a feeling of strong surprise she experienced how the dream zoomed in on the dot with a sudden and unstoppable power and speed, and she was drawn closer to what now appeared not a dot but as a shapeless translucent and shadowy field of darker air in the air. She seemed to fly towards it like an arrow shot with a good, strong bow and before she knew it she was passing right through it, feeling like she crossed a membrane between one element and another, although it was intangible and felt like nothing to her touch. At the moment she went through she heard what sounded like the call of a bird, distant, hoarse and rasping. This resounded in her and filled her whole mind for a split trill, before it receded again like a wave turning back to the sea after touching the beach.

She heard her own heartbeat, unnaturally high, like the pounding of drums, and a gleam of alertness came through, and inside the dream she knew she was dreaming. It lasted only long enough for her to instantaneously, automatically, intentionally think the name of the immortal Moseke.

Moseke, Moseke, Moseke, Moseke. The name echoed with every heartbeat. And she woke up.


During the whole sev’ryn spiritual dream that had seized her as a result of the hardships she had been through, Sel’ma had been totally immovable in deep trance. Now she found herself laying in the sand on the beach not far from Desnind, a bit rested, and able to move again. Shaking, still feeling weak and wobbly and also shaken by the dream, she sat up slowly and looked around.

"Moseke" she whispered silently, the immortal's name following her out of the dream.

It was evening and twilight, but it was still light enough for her to see the outrigger canoe slowly glide out on the water again and start to move away along the shore when the wind took the sail. She could also see the figure in the boat clearly. It was the naer, Linika. For a few trills her mind didn’t grasp what this meant, and all she did was watch the boat move, feeling like it was as surreal as her dream had been. But then she saw the boat rock a bit out there and she heard a shout and saw the naer move and do things. It didn’t look like the girl was particularly skilled at sailing, although she seemed to be able to make it ... so far.

Reality came back to Sel’ma with full power. The naer! She too had somehow survived and was still alive and it looked like she was deliberately heading to Desnind’s harbor. She must have taken the boat while Sel'ma was down and out.

The sevir felt sure of one thing. The danger was real. The memory of little Berine and her father left behind and dying in the waves due to the naer’s actions dominated Sel’ma’s mind and feelings totally now. Whatever that evil being was planning next was something bad; everything the naer did was bad and evil. And with several sevirs' deaths on her conscience she was maybe not going to care if she killed even more people. Whatever she was up to, Desnind must be warned so they could stop her.

Sel’ma came to her feet and stood for a moment on painfully unsteady legs, making ready for the mission impossible that was now hers: to run back to Desnind faster than the naer was able to sail there. The boat was moving at pretty good speed, but the course seemed unsteady, and continued faint sounds of yelling could be heard from a distance. This made Sel’ma feel that all hope wasn’t out yet.

She turned and started to run. The sand made it hard and taxing, and she felt like she would start to cry while she ran with as long and fast steps as she was able, her feet sinking down into the soft ground. She ran, but she knew she would never make it if she stayed on the beach. The sand would slow her down too much. The only way to get first to Desnind would be to turn upwards to the forest and in among the trees and use the harder, stabler ground of the paths there. If she ran as near the beach as she could, she would be able to keep an eye on the boat once in a while. At least she hoped so.

A desperate fight against the elements and one outrigger sailing canoe seemed to be going on out there on the water as far as she was able to see. Good. The more trouble the naer had the better her own chances were. Sel’ma sent a hopeful thought to the “luck” amulet as she dived in between the treads and started to run along a narrow animal path full of roots she had to watch out for.
Last edited by Sel'ma on Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1194
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[Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind

In the fog of her semi-waking mind, Linika prayed it had all just been a nightmare. There was a part of her that scolded her for this sentiment, this weakness. But the greater part of her mind looked on this segment with silent contempt. Be'rine had been strong, brave...worthy...Linika had felt privileged to have known her.

But all this did was bring reality, and its grief and emptiness back. Even as the tide made her limp legs flop and undulate against the shore, still submerged in what was surely less than two feet of water, tears rose in uninhibited streams down her cheeks. There was no one to see her cry as she stared across the uncaring waves, the boat to her back, between herself and the dryer, higher beach head, and anything lying there.

The wind and the waves drowned the sounds of her sobs, though they were considerably less than the wail she had let slip when she realized her sisters were all dead, broken, drowned and bent in ruined travesties of naer bodies. The mission was a complete failure. The waste of all her own, and her sisters', efforts was just another grief she was doomed to bear. The loss of the ship would have been acceptable to have seen a successful test of the dev...

Her jaw dropped. 'The device!' her mind shouted. She'd forgotten it! It was still of vital importance. With her ship unable to capitalize on the theorized vulnerability of the target ship, '...the...what was it?..."Wind Spirit"!...that was it!' She sat up, suddenly feeling a surge of energy.

The energy was a tease though, her muscles were so weak and drained from the subconscious effort of clinging to the side of the boat, that her urge to rise was a mockery of strength. She curtailed the desperation that smote her soul, as the situation came clearer to her. If the crew of that vessel suffered the sudden debilitation of their rudder, due to the device, all that would happen is they would circle unchallenged until they dislodged it. And then they would have it to study! There would be no naer attack ship to charge out of the mist and ravage it for battle, loot and slaves.

They would suffer nothing more than a slight delay, and would , in fact, gain from discovery of the device. If she did not return to Desnind and remove it, this failure would sink to an absolute catastrophe! If nothing else, she must throw it into the sea and kill herself, so she could not be made to talk. In truth, she did not believe that these Sev'ryn had the capacity to force anything from her, but only a fool took such a chance, where the welfare of her people was involved.

But she could still not yet stand with enough strength to make her way around the boat to the shore to push it into the waves. But she noticed that the tide was now on an inflow. Perhaps she could simply pull the craft free of the sand. Taking a more detailed look, she saw that most of the vessel was already water borne, and it would not take more than another break or so for it to be elevated to where it could be floated easily. And this would match the obvious kelp line, where the tide clearly fluxed and then began to flow out. She decided the rest would be just what she needed as she rolled up and over to fall into the canoe's deck.

A short rest later, darkness was falling, and Linika lifted her head to look around. Her jaw dropped again. Her heart nearly burst from her chest at the sight of Sel'ma, seemingly unconscious on the beach. Rage threatened to rob her of reason and focus, as visions of bloody, screaming deaths flashed across her blazing sight. For a moment, she could even imagine Be'rine egging her on, telling her to cut the bitch's throat. She looked around for her knife, eventually remembering that it was pegged into the water side of the boat's hull.

She dropped over the side to rip it free, but the truth of her current level of strength assaulted her with a flood of dizziness. She could not free her knife yet, but she realized she was on the side of the boat she wanted. The waves were tipping the craft almost to the point of being sufficient to float free. She timed a few waves and finally coaxed the craft over the first rocky obstacle. then another...and another...and soon she was free!

As frustrating as it was, she knew it was too personal a matter to risk losing the boat to the out-flowing tide, in order to wade ashore and kill Sel'ma. The fact was, she barely made it back into the boat. "Someday..." she promised the slowly receding Sevir, who now even seemed to be slowly twitching. She could not be sure, and she had more important things to deal with.

It seemed that fate favored her now. The wind was in more or less the right direction. Linika perched herself so her knees braced against one of the benches. She took hold of the ends of the lines and tried to recall Jao'vier's motions to catch the wind. But it seemed at first that the only way she could catch it was in such a way as to move the boat on a tangent that would flare away from the harbor. It took quite some time for her to discover that the keel was adjustable, and could be made to divert even this sideway momentum into forward movement.

Slowly she got the hang of a fluctuating tack that zig-zagged toward Desnind harbor. She took one look back, intending to make a rude gesture at the spot where Sel'ma lay, beyond her sight, when a surge of dismay nearly stole her breath away. She could not be sure, but it looked as though a running figure had just disappeared into the forest beyond the sand, in the direction of the city. It looked to have been Sel'ma.
Last edited by Linika on Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:30 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 1056
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[Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind

Selma ran, as fast as she could, along the narrow path, her bare feet sometimes hitting roots tried to trip her and sometimes made her stumble and fall to her knees. She dodged low tree branches as well as she could, but once in a while a dodge failed and the branch hit her. But she didn't stop. She just kept running and dodging, running and dodging, running and dodging.

The sounds she heard mixed with each other; the beating of her bare feet against the ground, the beating of her heart and the rhythm of her strained breath, the rustling of the wind in the foliage, the distant sounds from the city, and beneath all this the constant deeper sound of the ocean and the waves. These sounds reached the level where they started to seem like an odd surreal music to her. Once again, Sel'ma's mind was opening for the spiritual dream state that the enormous pressure on her made her prone to be seized by.


She was dreaming awake. She kept running at the highest speed she could squeeze out from her tired, battered, exhausted body, and she was starting to dream awake as she ran. This altered mental state descended on her out of the blue, numbed the protests of her body and made her run like in a dream, feeling unhampered by her normal sense of gravitation, weight and movement. Deep inside she knew that this was dangerous; her body was going at overdrive, and not forever could it go, before it would break. Where this insight came from was concealed to her. She knew, that was all. But just for a little while she would run on like in a dream and feel like she was flying at high speed, flying ...

Enclosed in this dreamlike state of mind, that shut out the inner voice of realism and common sense which would have told her to give up, she ran on the path. She suppressed an endured the pain in her lungs, as she ran too fast for her breathing capacity. She endured the pain in her side. She endured the pain of low branches hitting her face as she ran past them, and she endured the pain of hitting the ground when roots she hadn’t had time to see tripped her and make her fall. And she knew all this happened to her as she was running, but she didn't care. The sev'ir experienced it all as a part of the dream.

A face appeared in the dream that filled her mind.

“But if you drive yourself too hard and run to your death, who will then tell the sev’ryn of Desnind what happened this day, how will they ever know if your voice falls silent like the others?”

And she knew this was Moseke’s face, though she had no feeling that it really was the immortal who was speaking to her. The vision of the face looked like a mask, a symbol only, something else behind it, unknown. But despite this impression the thought it conveyed had been clear and true enough.

It rang inside her like a bell : if she fell silent who would tell ?


A root tripped her again and Sel’ma lost her balance, but instead of just falling, she managed to take an odd and sudden acrobatic leap that didn’t totally save her, but made her come down on her feet. She stumbled a little bit, but found support by pushing at a three with her hand. She got hold of the stem, fell against it, put her arms around it and hugged it in order to find stability. She was dizzy. There was a taste of metal on her tongue. Her face was wet.

She peered out between the trees and saw the boat sail on out there, looking as happy as ever, just as happy as it must have looked earlier that day, when the two sevirs had been singing their foreign song and she had joined in. They were gone now, Jao’vier and Be’rine, but their boat didn’t care. It carried the murderous naer towards the city at good speed. It even looked like the boat was faster now and the course was more steady.

“Moseke?” Sel'ma said, her somewhat raspy voice even more raspy than usual. “Moseke, help me ...”

The immortal did however not answer, and Sel’ma hadn’t expected it either. The sev’ryn didn’t worship Moseke. They followed her, and honored her, just like they followed nature and honored it. But cope with things, that was something they needed to do themselves.

Sel'ma tore away from the supporting tree and ran again, her feet hammering against the ground as she forced stride after stride out of her body. The sounds blended together in her hearing anew. She ran, feeling like she nearly was weigthless and flying.

And it wasn’t Moseke who empowered her to continue, only herself. Only herself. Only herself. Just herself. But who she was, she didn’t know, not clearly, not anymore, not right now. She knew she did it herself.

While the naer would be able to sail in to Desnind via the harbor, Sel’ma would have to run in through the main gates, as the barrier would be in her way. Normally she thought of it as a shelter. Now it had become an obstacle that would soon send her on a time consuming detour. There was no way to avoid this. And she would soon be there. Though twilight was turning into dusk and it was getting darker now, she could see the barrier at a distance, high and uncompromising.

A picture of the path she would have to take was already forming in her inner vision, based on her years of memories of the terrain around Desnind and her years of training in wilderness survival. Once upon a time she had needed to think actively, but nowadays she was competent and she instinctively summoned the knowledge of wilderness survival and make use of it instantaneously.

She reached the barrier. There, she seamlessly turned left and ran along the living wall towards the city gates. Every breath was painful. But still, she stubbornly suppressed the feeling, endured and continued.
Last edited by Sel'ma on Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:22 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 1067
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[Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind

Linika spun back to the lines connecting to the ends of the slip-spar, her face setting in bitter resolve. Motivation found new ground. She would make that woman pay. She would make the whole city...that whole culture pay for their disregard of Be'rine's value! It was no wonder that their two peoples were hostile. They would let such a gem go to waste, both in raising her to be one of these foolish pacifists, when she clearly had the capability to keep complete focus during a tense situation - a worthy trait of a warrior. But also in then letting her be lost so a couple of damned fishermen could be saved!

As she continued trying to coordinate her switching and stabilizing of the sail's position, something that became harder as she became angrier, her mind raced through rationales and justifications. She knew that this very same culture, that she now cursed, had produced Be'rine, so there was reason to doubt her own vilification of it. She also knew that Sel'ma had legitimately fought her to a standstill. But her stubborn reasoning rejected this. After all, she had had a broken finger! She didn't know the territory! She was distracted by her worry over her sisters' fate. Obviously, the sevir had seen something out of place with the cloak ambush set-up, which explained why it had failed! And the bitch had resorted to biting!

And she herself had seen quickly Be'rine's value when she'd grabbed her as hostage; seen that she was destined for greater things. She'd have rescued her from this dull life of redundant, woodland simplicity to become an agent of global change! For that was what the naer were. Clearly the sevir resented her own superior understanding of the girl's true potential, and would rather see her die than give her up. She would not let her own meager contribution to the whole tragedy cloud her assigning of blame. It was all the sevir's fault! She told herself this for the hundredth time.

She realized she was getting off course...again...The wind was shifting too frequently to rely on any position of the sail for more than a minute , it seemed. And her constant self-interrogation of how Be'rine was lost, and her emotional need to blame the sevir for it, was keeping her from maintaining the requisite focus on the task. "Later!" she suddenly shouted to the wind, and tried to put it out of her mind. The philosophical conflict of needing to scorn the sevir culture, but recognizing the strength it had cultivated in Be'rine, was quite taxing. She hissed in fury and adjusted the sail angle again, bringing the boat swerving back landward. Her arms and legs, already desperately tired, were numb.

Soon she could see the nearer jut of land, marking the mouth of the harbor. "Come on, COME ON!" she screamed, the wind, sea and sail ignoring her demands and continuing to bring her closer at their leisure. She found herself rocking and leaning to coax the vessel forward, and cursed herself for the futile idiocy of this gesture. She knew it gained nothing. She took a deep breath, trying to overcome the near panic of her estimates of how quickly Sel'ma might be getting back to town.

It was well-known that Desnind had a formidable barrier of rampant arboreal growth, to keep enemies out. This was why she had had to use the flotsam ruse to drift, hidden, into town in the first place. But it would not surprise her if the sevir's matron Immortal gifted her people with some kind of "divine" word that would impel the trees to unwind and open a path in. There had never been any evidence of such a thing, in any rumor or report she had ever seen or heard, but her mind was in full doom-of-bad-luck mode. Everything had gone wrong thus far, why should it change now?

But as if to mock even this, the wind suddenly cooperated, turning the sail in the right direction and filling it out to bring the vessel leaping forward. Linika felt like singing, not even realizing that joyful tears had sprung down her cheeks. By the time she realized this, she came to also realized she might need them to get past the pair of approaching vessels, that clearly altered course to intercept her. She found Jao'vier's rain coat, just a poncho, really, and slipped it on. She would not try to avoid the oncoming enemy. Better to disarm any suspicion by approaching them instead.

She waved at them, trying to look frantic. Her need to immediately grab control of the lines again added an hopeful element of panic to her demeanor as she cried for help. "Please, please help! Jao'vier and Be'rine are lost on the coast. They are injured and sent me in for help. Sharks attacked and I don't know any medicine. I can barely pilot this boat. I was only visiting my friend, Be'rine. Please hurry. Thank you, thank you." she sagged in relief as the boats passed her, the occupants shouting to her to stay calm and proceed into the harbor, that they would take care of it.

Her relief was, of course, entirely legitimate. She restrained a triumphant grin, feeling inspired by this tactic. It would account for everything. It would explain why a stranger was piloting a boat that obviously did not belong to her; why she might not be a sevir, something difficult to determine under the poncho; why she was unaware of any standing protocols while approaching the harbor; and why she was speaking common instead of the local language. And anyone else watching from shore would see that these initial boats let her pass relatively unchallenged.

Now, to get to the ship and retrieve the device...
Last edited by Linika on Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1006
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[Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind

As Sel’ma saw it, Linika had cold-bloodedly murdered the small sev’ryn girl Berine and her father Jao’vier. Linika had taken the small girl as hostage, Linika had bound the child, Linika with her search for the shipwreck had been the one who caused the final disaster. Linika, this monstrous scum on two legs, was looking just like a human, but Sel’ma was convinced her soul was just as ugly and murderous as the huge shark Sel’ma had killed with the harpoon.

The naer had only said her first name, but it was easy to fill in a suitable family name for her. Linika Sharksoul, Sel’ma thought as she ran, Linika Sharksoul, a suitable name. Sel’ma was going to tell the whole story and not leave out a single detail, because every detail in this story was only about the guilt of the naer, her manifold guilt, her eternal guilt of what she had done.

This disgusting, worthless scavenger had survived, while people far better than her had met their fate at sea. This should be set to rights. It echoed in her with each step : set to rights, set to rights, set to rights. Relenteless conviction and unyielding purpose fill her awareness, overwhelming, undeniable and merciless. Sel’ma felt a double surprise as she observed this like she was watching a dream from the side; surprise at how she, a sevir herbalist who had never wanted to harm anybody could feel so set on erasing Linika Sharksoul from this world, and surprise at how this actually didn’t make her shy away. It seemed natural. The world would benefit from it. Nature would benefit from it too, as many small beings of all kinds would eat the carcass and take life on in new forms, all of them better than the evil naer had been. Once again, death would serve life, when Linika died and was gone.

Though it wasn’t guaranteed that the sev’ryn justice would ensure the naer’s well deserved death. Some, said the voice in her thought, some were sev’ryn with weak and twisted familiars, spirits damaged by the poison of the past, and it wasn’t so sure that those would be able ...

Not like me.


Her thoughts hadn’t been real. She had been on a trip of visions again and heard a voice inside her mind. While it lasted she had thought it was her own thoughts, and now she felt like it hadn’t been so. It scared her. She didn’t know what was happening to her. She continued to run, forcing herself to take new steps without stepping, feeling like she would fall and faint every time her feet hit the ground, but somehow continuing to run despite it. She took an acrobatic leap over a bunch of roots that nearly tripped her and holding her arms out into the air like she thought she was a bird she managed to end the leap by landing on her feet on the other side of the roots. She dodged a low branch of a small tree when it appeared in front of her with a seeming suddenness that spoke volumes about how groggy she was. The dodge was successful, and she saved her head from another blow, but the branch still hit her arm and the pain made her whine silently.

Between the stems of the trees she caught a last glimpse of the canoe. It seemed to be about to sail into the harbor. Sel’ma didn’t stay to watch; the gate to Desnind wasn’t far away now. She ran faster, feeling like she would break any trill now, reached the gate and dashed in. There she fell to the ground, spent, hardly able to speak.

She struggled hard to control her breath, and after an unknown period of time she managed to breathe more evenly, although her body was shaking after the effort she had squeezed out of it and odd pains could be felt absolutely everywhere. She endured all this without even trying to complain about it. Instead she focused on controlling her breath until she got hold of her voice and briefly told the guards that a naer who had killed sev’ryn was on her way into the harbor in a stolen sailing canoe. This was for now all she was able to say, and the guards didn’t wait for details. They left her on the ground, thinking she would recover if she just rested, and ran towards the harbor, alerting more on the way.

Reality swam and wobbled in front of Sel’ma and the ground where she rested seemed to ripple and go in waves, like an ocean, another kind of sea, and from her memory the vision of the impossibly big shark rose a final time, a nightmare like few. She took the harpoon, but it wasn’t a harpoon anymore and changed in her hand. But like it didn’t matter, like nothing was what it looked to be anyways, the shark attacked and was impaled in her odd vision, just like it had been for real, at the shipwreck. She saw it turn over in the water and float there, lifeless. This, said the voice in her mind, was how it had ended before, and how it would end again in the future. The sharks. The monsters. They must die, not for the sake of it, but because she needed to survive.

Sel'ma opened her eyes, awake all of a sudden. She lay alone on the grass and looked up at the darkening sky, vaguely surprised that she was alive. She wasn’t able to move. She had exhausted her self so totally. Maybe she would be able to crawl up on her feet in a while, but not at once.
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[Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind

Even though the first group of boaters had let her past, there were still a number of eyes on Linika as she coasted into the harbor. She realized quickly that her ignorance, while embarrassing, was nonetheless her best cover for the direction she took. She saw the ship she had sabotaged, still far away on the other side of the harbor, alongside a number of other large vessels. The landings for small boats like she was piloting was in an entirely different section.

She tried to act as if she was unaware that crewmen onshore and in small boats were waving and shouting to her. She erratically steered the boat toward the long, high berths intended for full-sized ships, heedless of the aid of tie-ups and tows that several small crafts were offering. When she neared the high docks, she looped a section of rope, and stood looking confused at the dock standing well above her head, no platforms or stairs in evidence.

Laughter from above caught her attention, and she saw a young man shaking his head, and saying something she did not understand. She assumed it was the language of Desnind, and she did not hesitate to again adopt her lost-confused-and-inexperienced look for his benefit. "I'm sorry, sir, but I speak only the common." She made a vague wave towards the boats now racing up the coastline. "I was here visiting Be'rine, but there has been an ac- accident."

She let a tone of despair crack her voice as she hung her head in her hands and wilted in feigned sadness, a few light sobs thrown in for emphasis. The young man was immediately concerned and sympathetic, pulling her guideline to where a rope ladder was coiled as he offered his help and assurances that the coastal rescuers would do everything that could be done. Linika used her act of desperate worry as an excuse to act distracted, and avoid looking him in the eyes, as she reached for her knife. The feel of the empty sheath reminded her that the knife was still stuck into the side of the fishing boat's hull.

The young man put his arm around her, commenting on her shivering and how she needed to come with him to get warm. He noted her injured finger with alarm, promising to see to it right away. Her response was second-nature, the act coming so easy to her; the tearful gratitude, the slightly protracted hold on his arm, the look in the eye, the smile with the slightly quivering lip, the slightly emphasized lean into him. She sneezed and shivered again, asking if he had a towel or a blanket, then wobbled slightly as if she'd grown dizzy. She would normally go ahead and retire to the young man's home and take care of him there, but she knew Sel'ma was racing into town to sound some sort of alarm or something. She needed to be rid of this fellow now.

She wobbled and suddenly sat down, as if she had nearly passed out. The young fellow immediately offered to bring her to a nearby supply room where extra outfits, blankets and bandages would be stored, so she could get into some dry clothes. Linika fairly gushed with appreciation, letting him bring her back to her unsteady feet as she leaned on him fully for support now. They went into the supply room, and a few trills later, Linika came out alone, dressed in a dockworker's outfit, her hair tied up under a hood, the first two fingers of her hand tightly wrapped, and carrying a few large coils of rope.

She made straight for the "Wind Spirit", adapting the attitude of someone who belonged here, carrying the rope with duty and purpose. She thought with a sneer that Sel'ma would probably like to know that she'd unknowingly saved the young man's life. If Sel'ma had not been hastening toward the city to rouse everyone against the her, Linika would not have been in such a hurry. If that were the case, she'd have needed to silence the boy more permanently. As it was, he'd wake up in a few breaks with a truly splitting headache.

Linika grinned beneath her hood, "Live and learn, young man. Trust a strange woman, and receive a hard lesson in new ways to use a belaying pin." But she tipped her metaphorical hat to him. He'd come along at just the right time. She was still grinning as she passed several other workers and strode up the gangplank onto the deck of the Wind Spirit. Everyone was too busy with post-storm clean-up to pay her any mind. She found a stack of rope coils and dropped hers atop them. She then scooped up a crowbar and stepped over the rail and found the outboard sill, a small shelf that allows sailors to make their way along the outer hull of a ship for repairs.

She crouched below the gunwale and made her way astern. She reached the aft corner and started to ease herself down to the lower sill, where she could make her way to the rudder. Making the turn, she could see the niche she'd perched in when she'd first attached the device. She just needed to get to the other side of the fantail structure. As she inched along, there was a creak of an opening window above her. She flattened herself against the wood, waiting for the situation to develop for good or ill.

She heard humming and smelled tobacco smoke. She grit her teeth in frustration. She could practically "feel" Sel'ma's alarm getting closer to going off. Just then, she heard a voice and a creak above her. She looked up to see a man's weather-worn face leaning out to face her with a scowl. He said something she did not understand literally, but every inuitive aspect of the phrase suggested something to the effect of "Who are you, and what are you doing down there?"

Her time was up.
Last edited by Linika on Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1041
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[Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind

Sel’ma was young and though she had exhausted herself she had also rested, and now she used the minor strength she had left to crawl up from the grass and start walking to the harbor. She had already alerted the guards and they had already went to investigate, so she took it telling more people about the naer was superfluous now. She wouldn’t accomplish anything by running around to tell people at random. But she could possibly be of use in the harbor, so she could identify the naer murderer. She could tell all the details there, she figured.

She walked now, as running would have been too taxing. Thankfully there were not branches to dodge anymore. But once in a while she stumbled. She lost her balance and did a few acrobatic odd movement in order to stay on her feet, including holding out her arms to the sides and making some complicated steps and jumps as they came to her. Somehow she managed to continue. Her inner determination to give the naer her just deserts kept the sevir going against all odds.

After a while she reached the harbor area and walked into it, looking around for where the naer and the guards might be. She saw that as usual this time of the evening the activity in the harbor was low, although it was the biggest harbor in Southern Idalos so there was still activity. Fishermen who had arrived back late were pulling in boats and unloading the catch, children as well as adults were working with transportations, and sailors from the tradeships were doing errands or just strolling around on the outlook for a good tavern.

The blood pattern Sel’ma had painted on her face earlier that day was gone now. It had been washed away by the ocean during the long time in the water. The small head wound had stopped bleeding long ago. So her face was clean now, but her hair was an impossibly tangled mop of salt water infused dark locks and after all her clothes had been through they looked like rags. It was so far from how she had looked in the morning, in her best dress and her flowers, that it would be hard to recognize her, for people who didn’t know her well.

She stood for a moment and watched out over the harbor, now knowing where to head in this vast area. Finding the naer here would be like finding a needle in a stack of hay. Or this was how it would have been if Sel’ma had been human and not sev’ryn. As it was, she had spent a lot of time with that naer and ...


Use your spiritual mind. You were able to track Linika in the start, when you found her on the beach. Do it again. Don’t you recall the that “smell”, that feeling of a reddish hue, that vague, vague awareness of her presence ...

For a moment the odd dream state had bled into reality again and once more Sel’ma felt like she wasn’t sure if she was thinking aloud or hearing voices. She wasn’t able to track that way now, not from this long distance. But already as she thought of this and how intuition wouldn’t help her now, it struck her suddenly that if the naer would want to escape from Desnind, which was the only way to get away from the more skilled trackers the city had, Linika would try to get onboard a trade ship as stove away. So she would most likely go for the trade ships and try to enter one of them.

Sel’ma headed towards the trade ship piers. It seemed logical. And she actually knew which ship was soon going to leave; she had been onboard it in the morning, trying to get a job there. Wind Spirit. This was where they had started and it seemed right to think it would end where it had begun. Why she would think this way was obscure to Sel’ma, but she felt like this coincidence was totally logical. It was meaningful, to her, that Wind Spirit would bring her and Linika together again.

As she approached the ship she could see that there were a couple of Desnind city guards as well as a few crew on the deck, not so many. Sel’ma supposed the guards had spread out in order to be able to investigate as many places as possible, and so were moving in small patrols. She could hear muffled voices. Somebody was shouting a question. As well as she was able Sel’ma hurried up. Soon she walked over the gangway and a few breaks later she would join the other people for whatever was going on here.
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[Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind

'Stay Calm' the naer told herself, she was dressed as a dockworker, not a sailor, so even though she was obliged to be respectful to the ship's officer, and therefore cooperative, she was not directly subordinate to him. And as always, a half-truth would serve better than a lie. But first, a quick stall to gain a few ticks to think. "I'm sorry, sir. I do not speak that language. Are you speaking the sevir language? That's what it sounded like. I guess I'd assumed that you were a foreign ship, like I'm a foreign girl."

She put a bright tone in her voice, as if excited to relay her personal experiences to another listener. Inwardly, she was glad to see the uniformed man's face gain an impatient look as she went on. "I was only planning on a short visit with some friends. But I came to just looove this city, the colors, the smells, the peaceful attitudes of these sevir. Oh, are you a sevir yourself?" she injected a somewhat goofy giggle, "I had just assumed you were, since you addressed me that way, in that language, I mean. Not that I don't love the sound of it, but I haven't quite been able to grasp it."

Linika giggled again, noting the timely roll of his eyes, as if he doubted this flighty girl would ever be able to truly grasp anything of even basic complexity. She continued to babble, as she considered her predicament. But she had a decent amount of experience in docks, and the interplay and rivalries between different ships' crews. An idea had already formed by the time the officer interrupted her and reiterated, in common this time, that he wanted to know who she was and what she was doing on the stern of his ship.

"Oh, of course!" she responded, in a tone suggesting she was embarrassed to have not realized what his initial question must have been. She put a hand over her face to emphasize this embarrassment, and shook her head. "My name is Dolia, I'm a human, and the Dock Watch told me to investigate some debris on your rudder. So, here I am. I was afraid you might be sleeping and didn't want to wake you."

The man was no longer impatient and disinterested now. His eyes narrowed and grew intense at the mention of rudder debris. With a brief interchange, she told him she'd seen three crewmen by the rudder, as she was bringing "that abandoned fishing boat" in, describing it as a hazard. She went on to explain that by the time she'd gotten to where she'd normally turn to take the boat to the other dock, she'd seen they were gone, but the debris was still there. She was going to use the fishing boat briefly as a utility raft in order to check out the debris, but had been hailed by the dock to get it away from that lane.

The captain countered gruffly that his crew had just finished going over the entire vessel and he could not believe they would have missed something so fundamental as the rudder. He also absently noted that the fishing boat was only now being taken to where it would be properly berthed. It would be passing directly behind them in just a trill or two.

She agreed that she had assumed they were removing it, but when the dock called her over, she had noticed it was still there. She added that it was the primary reason she had mentioned it. Then with a hesitant tone she slipped in that she had been worried that she'd get the crew in trouble if it came out; that she knew there was always competition between rival crews, She added that she didn't want to start any stories, but knew that it would be worse if it was left there.

She was rewarded by a sharp look from the captain at the mention of "rival crews". He asked her pointedly to describe the uniform colors and cut of the crewmen she had seen by the rudder. This is exactly what she'd been trying to lead him to, and had already brought to mind the uniform of one of the other ships' crewmen. of course, she acted as if she had to take a moment to recall, but gave a reasonably detailed account of colors and stripes that did not match the patterns of the crew of the 'Wind Spirit'.

"Those scurvy sand maggots!" the man burst in anger, "I see it now, those brats from the 'Spray Rider'. That ruddy dog captain of theirs, sending a team to come after a clean up and try to make us look bad! They've tried this kind of stunt before. They should all Kiss the Gunner's Daughter!" he added, in reference to a particular position inflicted on troublesome crewmen about to receive a good flogging. "Well carry on then...Dolia? Did you say?...Good work. get that crap off of my ship." the window closed firmly as Linika smiled.

She was now glad of the encounter. There had been a sudden growth in the number of guards nearby, and her exchange with the officer lent her more than enough credibility. As she dropped down to free the gadget, one of these guards asked her who had authorized her presence. After a brief sorting out of languages, she told him that the ship's captain had called her over about the debris on the rudder. This worked at first, but she soon noticed a pair of them talking to another dock worker, and gesturing in her direction. Her concern was compounded further by their collective shaking of heads and puzzled looks.

They called to her, once again beginning in the local language. Now Linika simply ignored them as she propped the crowbar to pull on the chain. She was annoyed at her own efficiency in planting the device. It was secured too firmly to the wood to be easily pulled free, even with the crowbar. But with exhaustive effort, she ended up spreading open one of the links of the chain. She shrugged, knowing that it would be good enough for one side. But without the firm attachment on both sides, she could not bring the same leverage to bear on the chain connected to the other side.

Instead she caught the device itself in the clawed curve of the tool and managed to rip it free from the chain. By this time, the dockworkers and guards were no longer calling to her. Two had retrieved bows and were poised on the dock to shoot her, while a third was ordering her to surrender. She had also been aware of a trio of additional guards making their way slowly along the outboard sill to reach her; the nearest now poised directly above her, seconding the surrender order.

She had originally been prepared to simply throw the device in the bay and fight to the death, knowing it would be her own. But Jaovier's boat was now being piloted across the bay almost directly behind her. There was actually a chance, a slim chance, she could escape. She turned a grin to the guards; a grin that soured into a narrow-eyed sneer as she tucked the device into a pocket of her dock worker's attire.

She suddenly swung the crowbar up, catching the hook on the near crewman's ankle and jerking it to dislodge him. the man came crashing down beside her, his head and hands striking numerous outcroppings and leaving him somewhat dazed. Linika wasted no time in slamming the sailor in the head with the crowbar and grabbing his uniform to keep his slumped body poised as shield between herself and the archers along the dock. Shouting erupted both there and above her as her enemies threatened and cursed her. Her grin did not waver as she shoved the unconscious form ahead of her and tried to fall behind it into the water.

She heard the thunk of arrows into the wood before she hit, and curved her legs to arc her entry into the water as the gurgling hiss of additional misses left lines of bubbles within inches of her body below the surface. She knew there would be at least a slight diversion in her pursuit as some would have to rescue the dizzy sailor from drowning. She frog-kicked her way toward the boat, hearing bells now every time she raised her head for a breath. The alarm had been raised.
Last edited by Linika on Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1463
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[Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind


Sel'ma had arrived just in time to witness how the ruthless and murderous naer slammed the crowbar into the crewman's head and soon also pushed him overboard, then dived into the sea. All she could do was watch how the Desnind guards were shooting arrows at Linika, but as they had to take care to not hit the wounded man and the people who had come to his rescue, they didn't seem too successful.

Would they hit the naer? It was impossible to even guess at and right now the naer wasn't even Sel'ma's first priority anymore. Others, more skilled and suited for the task, would take care of that shark of a girl now. There was nothing the sevir could contribute to the hunt. She would give her testimony once this was over. Just wait!

But for now she was actually focused on the wounded crew member. He had been brought back up on the deck and lay there on his back, unconscious, a quite plump, chubby man for being a sailor. They tended to be muscular and wiry due to all the hard work on a ship and the sometimes lacking food. But this one seemed well fed. Sel'ma didn't comment on it as she kneeled beside him, saying she was a herbalist. Though her specialty was herbal treatments, she was a healer and knew enough about the basics of first aid to be able to administer it. Her experience consisted mostly in having seen others do it, to be honest, but as nobody else on the ship seemed to volunteer for the job she was going to do what she could. It was better to do something than just watch, she thought.

The mans breath seemed uneven and she found it best to wait with taking care of the head wound and the blood until she had made sure he would breathe normally and his heart would continue to beat. She put her hands on his chest and pushed, hard, over and over again, and then she made them help her turn him on his stomach. Water poured out of his mouth. This continued for a while, Sel'ma pushing at his back now and the man getting rid of the water he'd taken in during his luckily very short stay in the water.

Feeling more self-assured when the first aid was over and it was time for herbalism she sent for bandages, and specific herbs and salves she needed to take care of it. She didn't know what happened to the naer meanwhile, just that there had been a lot of shouting, shooting, running and general commotion. Perhaps there had even been people who had dived after the naer in order to try to catch up with her there.

She didn't care right now. The wounded man had woken up and now he was being helped to sit. He stared at her groggily. Somebody told her he was the ship's cook. At least she thought that was what they said. Her common had it's lacks. She tried to answer by nodding and smiling, pointed at the man and said "ship's cook". And she pointed at her self and said "herbalist, healer, take care of you" in order to tell the man what was happening to him.

Their short conversation seemed over for now and she got to her feet and approached the other's to find out how the naer hunt was going.
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[Fishing in the debris]: A race to Desnind

Linika used the body of the dazed sailor one last time as a body shield, then went under again, kicking in a different direction. As luck would have it, she had inadvertently swam in an oblique angle from where Jao'vier's boat was being towed across the bay. This turned to her benefit as she was now able to misdirect the archers as to where she would break the surface for air again. They were following her initial trajectory to anticipate her head bobbing up to take another breath. When she splashed briefly, they turned and fired, but missed as she ducked under again.

She was now heading straight for the boat, which was on a different tangent from her second path underwater. There was a second benefit in that the archers were choosing to remain silent, to focus more fully on any disturbance in the surface. This meant that the pilot of the boat tugging Jao'vier's boat, as well as the one manning the boat itself, were not warned as to the disposition of the woman who broke the surface not far off their collective port side.

The actress was once again called upon to save the saboteur. "Help me!" she waved to them, not needing to fake her exhausted swimming stroke much. "There's MER in the water! We may be under attack! Please pull me out!" She turned a horrified expression toward the unseen depths and raised a sudden large splash, screaming "No! get away!" and letting the last syllable meld into a long, tearful wail as she waved her arms pathetically.

"Mother's mercy!" the sailors in the two vessels cried in unison, looking quickly at each other in swift agreement and turning the boats toward her. Now the bells became part of her ruse, seeming to be a call to arms for the citizens to repel an invasion of the notorious marine warriors. It also drowned out the warnings coming from the archers, who could see the men turning to help their enemy.

Being somewhat familiar now with the balance and response of Jao'vier's vessel, Linika made an effort to ensure that it was this vessel she reached for her feigned salvation. The man reached out and she gripped his arm in mock desperation, kicking now and grappling clumsily to be pulled aboard. She thanked the man exaggeratedly, insisting that he had saved her life and was a hero, as she swooned into a heap inside the hull of the boat. The man shouted to his partner in the other boat to pick up the pace, and picked up an oar to add to their speed.

Linika picked up an oar as well, pretending to offer her assistance. Then with a subtle sneer toward the archers, and a single female that looked like it might be Sel'ma, she brought the oar down on the poor hero's head. She shoved him over the side and shrugged at the shocked sevir in the lead boat. As he recovered his wits and shouted angry curses, Linika stepped quickly to the front of Jao'vier's boat. "He's alive creep. If you want to let him die, and pursue me, that's your choice...In the meantime..." She lifted a loop of rope from a cleat at the bow of Jao'vier's boat, freeing it from the other vessel. Then she grabbed the lines to reset the tack, and sat down quickly to add her rowing effort to turning the boat around.

By the time she got the boat reoriented to an outbound path, many of the other boats had received signs that she was to be intercepted and had also turned about. Boats behind her were adjusting their trajectories to pursue; boats ahead were moving to cut her off. Demands to surrender were coming from every quarter. "Not rutting likely!" she answered back.

Once again, Linika considered simply tossing the gadget into the water and accepting a fight to the death. This did not bother her. In fact, the thought that this whole city seemed to be focusing on her alone, made her feel like the mightiest of foes, and she reveled in it, laughing and shouting curses at all of them. They thought they had her, the fools. They were not aware of the special gift Audrae bestowed upon her loyal agents. They were about to learn it was she who had them.
word count: 752
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"Shelf Life'...What an ironically contradictory concept."
- Linika Amarinthine -
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