The Preamble

In the heart of Ninraih's jungles, the Fae created the city of Ajteire, protected from the undead by the magic of fireflies and a pact with the Kerasoka. The complex network of trees, vines, and plants helps to keep unwanted visitors out. Read more...
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Memoria
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The Preamble

Post by Memoria » August 29th, 2018, 2:06 am

As this tavern is situated close to the entrance of Ajteire and is typically the first thing a traveler sees, it was named The Preamble for its welcoming introduction into the city. The Preamble is a relatively new addition to Ajteire and was constructed next to the city boundaries as a lot of weary and lost people entering the city needed to rest, sit down, and gather their senses. Many outsiders claim that The Preamble is not really a tavern, as it has no defining walls. Tables, chairs, and lounging areas were brought together in a grassy clearing, with a few of the tables having umbrellas for protection from the rain. In a few corners, there are hammocks as well and if a person decides to stay the night, behind The Preamble is one of Ajteire's three inns.

There is a bar and servers so folk can order drinks and light snacks, but heartier food should be acquired at the cooking stations positioned around Ajteire. Like those stations, The Preamble is not owned by any person, but the duty to manage it is divided between the Fae and Kerasoka community. The residents who choose to work at the tavern are commonly those who are interested in hearing tales from outsiders. As for drinks, potent and sharp alcoholic beverages are almost never on the menu; instead, the tavern specializes in drinks like teas, coffees, wines, and light alcohols that have revitalizing properties. Many have stated there is even magic involvement in these brews.

Despite its simplicity, The Preamble aims to help the soul relax and does exceptionally well at that. Bards and storytellers freely flock to the area and the presence of song and storytelling helps to alleviate travelers of their troubles.

Note: You may use this thread to introduce characters or meet new characters. Staff (as they have time permitting) will likely create NPCs to respond to posts.
Word count: 318

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Nester Tattergild
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Re: The Preamble

Post by Nester Tattergild » August 7th, 2019, 6:46 pm

Monsoon rain hammered the palm fronds and umbrellas in the clearing, soaking the lush greenery and dripping from the vines that criss-crossed the jungle canopy above.

When rainstorms like this passed over Ninraih, Ajteire’s denizens tended to make themselves scarce. But even if there had been a crowd of patrons at The Preamble, there was no way they’d have been able to hear Nester’s fiddle or flute – or her voice, for that matter – over this almighty racket.

A curl of smoke rose lazily from the hammock she had retreated to. She was sheltered by the wide leaves of a large palm, and held a long, carved pipe in one hand, stuffed with a type of herb the locals liked to smoke out here. She’d forgotten what it was called, but in any case, it was light, fragrant and relaxing, and she attempted to form a smoke ring on her next exhale.

Before the ring could properly take shape, it was blown away by Zephyr, her parrot, who stretched and beat his sapphire-coloured wings where he sat, neatly perched, on a nearby branch. She eyed her feathered companion suspiciously. Sometimes, she thought he did that on purpose, as though he disapproved of the habit she’d recently picked up.

Sighing, she lowered the pipe and turned her auburn head where she lay, sea-green eyes surveying the dripping clearing. Thunder rumbled somewhere far above, long and low and menacing.

There was no denying it. Nester was bored.

Not just right now, because of the rain, but generally – being here in the city. It was a slightly disturbing realisation, and it made her brows knit together in a frown. She loved Ajteire; she always had. Her stays were always longer here than they were elsewhere in Khy’eras. But she’d been in the city for several weeks by now, and she was beginning to feel that familiar pull – that tugging that always reared its head when she’d lingered in one spot for a long stretch of time.

It wasn’t just a change of scenery she longed for, she realised as she probed deeper. Life in Ajteire was wonderful, but it was also leisurely and unhurried – slow and simplistic and relaxing, particularly at The Preamble, where she’d been staying.

No. It was something more she wanted. Something more exhilarating than her usual visits to Khy’eras’s other cities, or to Verdant Row. Somewhere, perhaps, she’d never been before. Where that might be, she had no idea. As she pondered, she lifted the pipe and put it in her mouth, and then cocked an eyebrow as Zephyr ruffled his vibrant feathers and took off into the pounding rain. Lifting herself onto her elbow, she watched him come to rest under a table, where he stepped from foot to foot and glared at her for a moment.

After a short while, he began to peck at the ground – some crusts or crumbs, or a juicy beetle, perhaps, that had caught his beady eye in the grass.

With a shake of her head, Nester settled back in her hammock and smoked, and stared up at the glistening canopy, and lost herself in daydreams of far-off places… and of adventure.
Word count: 542

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Toa
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Re: The Preamble

Post by Toa » August 12th, 2019, 3:58 pm

Someone had once called Toa impulsive and while she had responded to this by slapping them in the face in retrospect they may have had a point.

Of course it made sense to come to Ajteire, that couldn’t be denied. As one of the very few places that welcomed magic it was probably the best place to try to regain what she had lost. Maybe someone would be able to clear her memory, certainly a long shot but even if that was not possible she might at least be able to find someone capable of deciphering some of the book she’d awoken with on the riverside with. Yes, there were certainly some very good and sensible reasons for Toa to come to Ajteire and if anyone asked she would certainly offer those before admitting she had just gotten on the wrong train.

Not that this had been her fault really, what was she supposed to do when upon arriving at the station she saw a train just about to depart? She didn’t doubt that she could have checked it’s intended destination before chasing after it but to do that would have wasted precious seconds and thus run the risk of her having to wait for another train, something which could have taken centuries. Admittedly it could have also only taken a few hours but that was utterly impossible to be certain of now and Toa had decided it was best not to think about it. Instead she had decided to focus on making the best of the situation and this was something she had spent the entire journey considering. She'd come up with some ideas, some very good ideas, but unfortunately every single one of them had been built upon an incorrect assumption.

That Ajteire actually existed.

She hadn’t really paid all that much attention to the view during her journey and so she had offered a few choice profanities upon realising how far the train had dropped her from civilisation. Had she lingered a few moments to adjust to the alien landscape, perhaps even taking a moment to actually speak to someone, she might have found one of the several pathways that lead from the away from the station. However, after spending so long in the company of others in the cramped train Toa was eager to get moving and so she had simply scanned the horizon for evidence of the city. When repeated scans returned identical results (trees) she decided that the best course of action was to pick an arbitrary direction and kept walking until she found something. Suffice to say this was not the best course of action.

“Leaves...!” Toa hissed in irritation she once again stumbled through another dense network of branches.

It was perhaps not the most eloquent way of voicing her displeasure but that didn’t make it any less accurate. She had been prepared to get snagged on branches, having a hooded cloak makes that an unavoidable reality of life, but she had not been prepared for enormous leafy fronds swatting her in the face or drenching her with the rain they had managed to collect. This last thicket had managed to combine both of these qualities and there were several seconds of frenzied face wiping before Toa realised she had stumbled into a large clearing.

She paused then for a moment, still blinking water out of her eyes, and looked around. While it certainly was an improvement over the jungle she still wasn’t quite sure if it qualified as civilization. A few odd looks from those already in the clearing certainly seemed to suggest there was no intelligent company to be found here but the sight of tables with umbrellas was enough to convince her to linger a few moments and investigate. And so, drawing herself up to her full height, Toa decided to addressed the world in general.

“Can anyone tell me where I am?”
Word count: 661

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Nester Tattergild
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Re: The Preamble

Post by Nester Tattergild » August 15th, 2019, 11:22 am

Nester had her eyes closed and was in severe danger of nodding off to sleep to the hypnotising pattering of the rain. But a stray drop, which had made its way to a point directly above her head, fell and hit her nose, making her jump where she lay. She raised a hand and wiped it off, grumbling, and for a moment considered heading inside. Her thoughts were interrupted, however, by the sound of foliage rustling across the clearing. She turned her head, squinting, pipe held in her mouth, and saw a very, very tall figure emerge from the tangled brush.

Nester stared.

That was a Lumeacia, if ever she’d seen one. And she hadn’t seen many, especially not in these parts. The elf’s pale skin and almost luminous white hair stood out starkly against the dark green backdrop, and Nester raised herself up on her elbow again to get a better look. The newcomer looked a little worse for wear – as did most people who turned up in Ajteire having trekked for some distance through the jungle. She’d been soaked by the rain, it seemed, and looked more than little… displeased. After sweeping her gaze around the clearing – and Nester noticed, then, that the elf’s eyes were slightly mismatched – the stranger opened her mouth and declared, “Can anyone tell me where I am?”

Before Nester could move or take her pipe out of her mouth, a squawk issued from beneath the table Zephyr had flown to, followed by an unmistakeable wolf whistle – a trick he’d picked up in the slums of Fellsgard and was prone to deploying whenever he encountered someone new.

To her dismay, a few seconds later, his high, croaky voice called out, “Help! I’ve been turned into a parrot!”

That had been one of hers. She’d thought it would be funny (and she had to admit she’d been a little tipsy when she’d taught it to him), but the blasted bird had so far picked the most inopportune moments to blurt it out. Within earshot of Fellsgard’s patrolling soldiers, for example. Now that had required some hasty explanations…

Shifting and wincing slightly at the memory, Nester sat up in her hammock and shouted, “Shut up, will you, you feather-brained idiot?”

In response, Zephyr blew a raspberry.

Nester manoeuvered herself out of the hammock, straightened, and surveyed the newcomer from across the clearing, one hand resting casually on her waist.

“Welcome to The Preamble,” she said. “You’re in Ajteire – Arbor of Fireflies.” She paused, grinned, and then added, “You look like you could use a drink.”
Word count: 441

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Toa
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Re: The Preamble

Post by Toa » August 15th, 2019, 2:26 pm

Toa did not react well to surprises, something that can be very tiring for an amnesiac.

She’d been looking around the area in the hopes of identifying someone important but she abandoned this effort entirely when a shrill noise rang out across the clearing. The sudden noise had caught he off guard and with a growing sense of anger she sought out the source of the noise so she could roundly chastise it. Toa would admit that she had not expected the perpetrator to be a bird but after so long traveling she could no longer be truly surprised by the hideous noises animals were capable of making. What was surprising was when the bird spoke.

There was something deeply upsetting about carefully constructing a worldview only for it to be regularly smashed to pieces by some incredibly inconsiderate piece of reality. This had happened to Toa more times than most people could count, thirty seven, and though this it was always a frustrating experience she prided herself on being able to quickly adapt and create a new, more comprehensive understanding of the world. Even now her mind raced to incorporate talking birds into her theories and so when someone else spoke it took a few moments to realise what they had said was almost as bad as talking birds.

“You’re in Ajteire – Arbor of Fireflies.”

“What.” said Toa finally.

Utterly ridiculous, this couldn’t be Ajteire. All that was here was trees, lots and lots of trees. No, that didn’t make sense… well unless Ajteire was made of trees. Like a city of trees. Like a tree city. But who would want to live in a city of trees. Birds maybe. Wait, are birds in charge in here? No, if birds were in charge the copperhead woman wouldn’t have been rude to the bird. Maybe everyone here can just change into birds? The bird said something about changing into birds. That woman could be a bird as well, probably one of those birds that love shiny, gaudy things. She even came out of some weird nest a second ago. So it could be a city of bird people would live in trees. Maybe everyone here is a bird...

At this Toa once again looked around the clearing, this time noticing that everyone seemed to be staring at her. Unbeknownst Toa had spoken every step of her very tenuous line of logic aloud, having once again fallen into her habit of talking aloud to herself just so she could hear an intelligent voice. As a result of this those near enough to hear gave her looks of genuine bafflement while those further away had to make do with a vague sense of uneasiness. Of course Toa had no idea this was why she was getting so many odd looks and quickly determined it was due to either jealous or prejudice, perhaps both. In response to this she flipped up the hood of her cloak and cleared her throat.

“I actually do need a drink.” she announced, furrowing her brow as she pondered how exactly a bird society would do that “Is there some kind of… communal bowl?”

Toa looked around at the bird people once again and then, upon reflecting on what she had just said, frowned disapprovingly.

“If so that’s disgusting.”
Word count: 557

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Harroc Crownegrove
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Re: The Preamble

Post by Harroc Crownegrove » August 23rd, 2019, 6:59 pm

Under the hunter's instructions, Harroc ambled down the vaguely straight line between the massive tree trunks and pillars of vines. In true Ninraih fashion, the skies rumbled before pouring down sheets of warm rain. The Druid chuckled to himself as the first heavy drops struck his hood. There wasn't much to do for the weather, he would simply have to dry his armor again.

As he walked Harroc's mind wandered, his eyes simply sliding over the rare person passing by. During his youth in the wilds, he'd met a fair number of people and learned a good deal about cities in general. Despite many meetings with traveling traders, roaming hunters, and even the occasional small camp he'd never actually been to a city. He was surprised how few people he'd come across, but after a moments thought he decided that perhaps the rains were more bothersome to people used to having standing homes.

He finally came across a clearing, interspersed with various pieces of furniture and clearly trampled by regular traffic. He glanced around, his eyes skipping over two women clearly in conversation before making his way to a table with a wide umbrella covering. He slumped on to a stool, slid off his gear and let out a long sigh. It was then that he heard something interesting from the women. The white-haired one was muttering loudly to herself about birds. Looking at her with a raised eyebrow Harroc noticed a brightly colored parrot resting beneath the nearby table.

With a small bit of concern for the creature, and how it found itself grounded in the rain, he spoke to it. In his head the words were simple; parrots were smart but tended to ignore things they didn't care for. "Safe? Lost? Hungry?" He asked in a series of chirps, clicks, and coos. Harroc was so familiar with speaking to the wild animals he often forgot most people couldn't do the same.
Word count: 323

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