What's In a Name
<OOC> Lucius says, "And J. Just so I remember, the area surrounding the Diamond main city is what? Jungle?"
<OOC> GM J says, "Its an island in the middle of a lake."
<OOC> GM J says, "The shore of the lake is rain forest, yeah. With a lot of herbivore dino."
<OOC> Lucius says, "but when you leave the lake, isn't the land going into Zirconian Commonwealth a jungle?"
<OOC> GM J says, "Yes. On the east side."
<OOC> GM J says, "On the west side you get into shire land. All hills. But the water preds are nastier on that side."
<OOC> Lucius says, "ok."
<OOC> Lucius says, "the map seems to suggest diamond city isn't an island."
<OOC> Lucius says, "like there is a land bridge into the commonwealth"
<OOC> GM J goes to look.
<OOC> GM J says, "I should have erased that. There is a bridge. But its made from the same stuff as the city."
<OOC> Lucius says, "ok."
<OOC> Zyindra says, "Oh. See. I thought it was a land bridge."
<OOC> Lucius says, "Now we know."
<OOC> Zyindra says, "There's plains in the middle, with jungle to the north and hills to the south into shire lands."
<OOC> Zyindra hmms. "How about we ... hrm. While they're traveling, walking? Or a night in camp?"
<OOC> Lucius throws out a pose.
A few days into Kikao and Sharrondra's first trip together, the two find themselves sitting around a small evening fire, sharing a bit of food that Kikao has managed to prepare. She is not an expert but even her untrained abilities are better than nothing. With a little bit of this and a little bit of that, she managed to turn the barely edible stew into something just slighty better.
"You did well with the rabbit." They are virtually the first words out of the barbarian woman's mouth in close to four hours. 'Creature of few words' was invented to describe her, apparently. "Thank you for cooking." she offers, as she continues eating. Naturally, she's very handy at foraging, and hunting. But her cooking is passable at best. Spices? What are those?
Kikao beams at the compliment. "You're welcome." For herself, she's been chatting on and off for those four hours and more, not forcing Sharrondra to speak but generally keeping an eye out in case her companion might want to start conversation. "It helps that I had to stir a few pots here and there as a child." She reaches for the ladle in the pot. "Would you like some more? I think there is another bowlful left."
"Half and half?" Sharrondra offers, as she lifts her emptied bowl and moves closer to the fire and the cooking pot to assist in the process. It has likely become painfully clear over the last few days that her laconic nature during their first encounter was endemic of her entire approach to such matters. She will speak, when it is necessary. But no more than necessary, and if she can accomplish her needs without it, she will. A simple gesture or expression from the guide can speak a paragraph.
Kikao nods and ladles half the remaining stew into Sharrondra's bowl and then scraping the last bits into her own bowl. She then leans back and takes to finishing the last of the stew. Seeing this sudden influx of words, Kikao takes a chance at a few questions. She is a seeker of knowledge afterall. "I am curious. You said you are the Guide of the White Crows. Is that a clan name?"
"Amazonites." Sharrondra answers with a nod, raising the bowl in a gesture of thanks and approval for the stew before she settles back on her spot, applying her spoon, eating slowly and deliberately with just a hint of actually savoring the food. "Personal name. Calling. Clan name, tribe name." she explains, though she expects someone as widely-educated as Kikao likely knew all of that. Whether she knows more about the White Crows is something she waits to see.
Kikao listens to the explanations and chews her own food making sure to swallow before speaking. "So your personal name is obviously Sharrondra, your calling must be a guide and are the White Crows your clan name or tribe name?" She adds thoughtfully, "I think I remember a stor about someone from the White Crows during the War."
"Both, for me." Sharrondra offers so simply. Such few words. By which she means that White Crows are both her Clan, and her tribe. Which would imply that she probably knows the story Kikao is mentioning. She nods as the other woman mentions that story. "Some remember. This is good." She thumps her closed fist to her chest, forcefully. That means something, clearly. A gesture of honor. Respect. Remembrance.
"Of course we do. The heroes of the war will always be remembered. Their names and their deeds are sung by bards all across Krystallos." Kikao places her food bowl down. "Would you be amenable to sharing that story between us?" She waits for an answer before she moves forward with doing anthing else.
The quietly soft-spoken woman of few words eyes the bard curiously, tilting her head to the side, her dreadlocks falling downward. "You know the story." she says, simply. Because Kikao said she did. Said she had heard it. So why would they need to share it, between them? She does not understand. Finished with her stew, Sharrondra starts cleaning out her bowl, cleaning off her utensils, and cleaning up the cooking efforts. Campsights are her job. Part of it, anyway.
Kikao smiles at Sharrondra and points out, "I do know a version of the story. I am guessing though that you know know it better. I would be ever so grateful if you might hear the story and offer me some comparison."
Sharrondra's answer? Laconic as always, she nods. No words at all, just a nod to signify she can agree to that. Telling a story is a bit beyond her. But she can listen to one, and speak up later, offering contrast. Maybe.
Kikao takes the answer as if Sharrondra had shouted the words Yes to the mountaintops. She cleans up her own bowl and utensils and then retrieves her Kalimba from her backpack. Every evening so far, Kikao has pulled out the instrument and used it to enhance her stories. For the last few nights, she would tell the stories seemingly to fill the quiet campsite and keep her skills honed. She is not the best bard in the land but she definitely shows that she has both training and passion when she tells her stories. In this case, she seems more passionate to share this story. Kikao tells the story of the White Crows during the war. The story is filled with larger than life events, the warleader Iona performing nearly impossible deeds of greatness if one were to think about it rationally. During the story, Kikao pauses at various points, letting Sharrondra add or correct anything if the warrior wishes to, but she doesn't push the warrior to speak. At the end, she lets the last notes of the Kalimba fade away into the darkness leaving behind the sounds of wildlife around them.
For the first time in their journey, Sharrondra applauds the performance when it ends. No words, at first, are offered. Just the clapping of her hands against her thighs, the way her sisters always show their appreciation for another's performing skill. She lets Kikao relax and recover from her passionate rendition, and offers the other woman tea. Then, later, she finally speaks. Her words are few, but their meaning is deep.
"Great-grandmother." she offers. No wonder it has such meaning to her. "One-hundred sisters in her band, to lead one-hundred warbands in battle." Not quite how it worked out, but that had been the idea. "Four of the hundred survived. One was with the survivors, at her final battle." Which would be how the stories got out. As terrible as the slaughter may have been, there were a few that escaped. On both sides.
Kikao gracefully accepts the applause as well as the offer of tea after. She waits patiently to hear Sharrondra's comments. She has come to know that the woman will not speak until she is ready. She asks counter questions to Sharrondra's responses and though she does not take notes on paper, she is mentally laying out everything she is told and reworking the story or creating new side stories to fit into the whole. When it is sufficiently late enough, Kikao yawns and stretches. "I should retire so I may be fresh when I relieve your watch. Thank you for providing your insight to your family's story."
"Sleep." That's all the laconic barbarian woman offers. But she smiles, offering a nod as the other woman finds her blankets. Sharrondra disappears into the night, patrolling around the campsite. She'll be back in plenty of time to trade off, later.
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