Mists of Distant Shores

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Annasiel
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Mists of Distant Shores

Post by Annasiel » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:46 am

Well hadn't this gone topsy-turvey.

Galen had just wanted to protect his sister, was all. Just wanted to make sure she saw it through the horrors of army service in one piece. But now, here they were, stationed on a godforsaken rock a week's voyage across the ocean. Filled to the brim with trees, wasps, and who-knew what else. The promised land. The new frontier. Galen's private hell.

Now, Galen was no sissy. He wasn't raised in too high standing, more of a middle class affair, and had his fair share of scrapes and bruises. But no civilized folk in their right minds would willingly live in what pretty much amounted to wilderness. The restrooms were holes in the dirt, for crying out loud. Did nobody know how to build a proper outhouse?

The governor was pacing back and forth down the line of soldiers, babbling something about scouts. Galen was filtering the words out, but soon realized he probably shouldn't have when the governor stopped an inch away from his nose.

"You, sir," he said in that stony, pompous voice. "You seem like a perfect volunteer for the expedition. And who will be going with him?"

What?
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Re: Mists of Distant Shores

Post by UmbraSight » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:26 am

Wasn’t this all dreadfully exciting?

Despite Galen’s fears, they hadn’t been shipped off to one of the fronts against Bajet out of boot, rather they had gotten sent off to Verona. The island was so beautiful, a deep lush green only broken by the rough buildings of Atlis, which held their own charms. The mists which drifted in every evening and clung to the trees until finally chased off by the sun of the mid-day made her think of the stories she was told as a child.

After living her life within cramped city streets, she could see what drew the colonists to come to this land. There was plenty of work still needed to be done before it would be anywhere near civilized, but it was beautiful all the same.

Her gaze followed the governor as the man marched up and down the line, in need of a volunteer scout force to head deeper into the island and to protect his daughter. He ended his pace in front of Galen, who judging by the look on his face was off with his mind elsewhere, and seemed to less ask and more demand her brother to join the party.

Well, it would be better than standing around town waiting for something to happen, wouldn’t it?

“Sir!” Elencia said, her salute still boot camp sharp, “I will volunteer to join! I was one of the better shots in my group.” Her voice was almost as sharp and clear as her salute.
//… and it was there, and her blade flicked out catching only air. She backed from the door, worn floorboards shivering with each misplaced step...// Fall of the Aelir Isles, Vol. III

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Re: Mists of Distant Shores

Post by Annasiel » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:49 am

"Good man!" the governor said, pulling himself back upright and turning his attention to Elencia. Good grief. Of course, Galen's sister, so enamored by the army that she faked her sex to join it, was thriving in this environment. The girl'd always been a bit of a tomboy, but when she'd told Galen her plans that distant night, it'd nearly taken him off his feet. The army was dirty, foul, bloody! They had to do what idiots told them to, and couldn't leave until their five years had passed! But no. Elencia ignored his warnings, put on some trousers, and went down to the registrar's office with a grumbling Galen in tow.

Oh, no, wait. Her name was Kellam now. His little sister, so bright and full of energy, now sycophantic toadie Kellam to the Alrian Crown. He still loved her, though, even if she was a thousand times better at this than him. He was still happy to have her along, and especially happy he'd have her by his side on whatever the hell he'd just signed up for.

"Sir!" Galen said, doing his best to mimic a proper salute. One arm out, two fingers down, and... fuck it, it was good enough. "Could I have a quick refresher of the briefing? I want it sharp in my mind."

"There's nothing sharp about you, boy," the governor barked back, to a few sparse laughs from the lined soldiers. "As I said when you were taking a nap, you're to guard my daughter during a scouting mission. She wants to survey the area, and I will not have her going alone. Is that clear?"

"Yes, sir," Galen muttered. The governor leaned closer, and Galen spoke up. "Yes sir!"

Satisfied, the governor returned his attention to Elencia (no, Kellam, get it right).

"You're in charge here, soldier. I don't trust this other ninny. You're to go a mile-"

"Two miles, please." A soft but firm voice interrupted. Distracted by the decidedly idiotic governor, Galen hadn't noticed the small, pale girl with sandy hair walk up behind. Her footsteps had been nearly silent, and even now, she only made noise when she chose to. Dark blue eyes peeked up at her father from behind a book, the rest of her face concealed. "I requested two miles. it will expedite the process."
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Re: Mists of Distant Shores

Post by UmbraSight » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:24 am

That would be the daughter then, why perhaps she should have tried out for the constabulary with such observation skills? Something to think about in five years then, but might be ever so slightly harder to get past the inspectors. Still, she was a pretty woman, the daughter, though short and thin. Pale too, like those porcelain dolls you were always to frightened of breaking to really play with.

Though it was her eyes which pulled Elencia’s gaze, they were a dark strong blue, with an intelligent intensity. Much like the island itself, she seemed like something drawn from a story. Which was a fool’s thing to think, so Elencia pushed the thought away.

Still, compared to her father, she seemed much more frail, and yet Elencia felt the same sort of intensity. The Governor seemed to demand it from his outward demeanor, from his military precise movement and commanding voice, yet this woman echoed it all with only her gaze.

A shame they would be only going two miles, the expedition wouldn’t last too long, would it? Though, the forest and still clinging fog would slow them somewhat.

“Ma’am,” Elencia offered up, still holding her salute steady. “Might I ask what it is we will be heading to check?”
//… and it was there, and her blade flicked out catching only air. She backed from the door, worn floorboards shivering with each misplaced step...// Fall of the Aelir Isles, Vol. III

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Re: Mists of Distant Shores

Post by Annasiel » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:41 am

Right, right, Elencia saluted the governor, and even saluted the girl too - was that supposed to be his daughter? The man'd gone around screwing pantry figurines to get a glass little girl like that. She looked far too young to be at the receiving end of any salutes, far too young to be out on some shit-hole colony in the middle of the New World.

Still, however much the complaining in his head was helping him cope, Galen decided it was growing old. Standing up straight, he offered the girl his own salute, and waited for her to answer his sister's question.

"Oh, just the things the island has to offer." Her reply was almost cheerful, and her eyes crinkled to match, though her face was still obscured by the massive, dusty tome. The title was faded, and written in the sort of flowy script that was popular among equally dusty academics, but he could just make out a few of the words. 'World' was one, and 'topog-'something something. All in all, a particularly interesting read, if you were an absolute bore.

The girl pointed over the trees, where a few strands of mist trailed upwards above the canopy.

"The mist obscures the geography of the land, and makes it difficult for ships to properly navigate the further shores," she explained. "I would like to scale the location by foot so to accurate map the surrounding areas. There have also been some reports of shifting terrain, which may need additional investigation to determine what natural phenomena could be the cause."

With the way she said it, you'd think she was talking about going to see a particularly gut-busting play. Truly a dusty academic indeed. Before he had a chance to still his tongue, a playful jab slipped out of Galen's lips.

"Kellam knows all about shifting terrain," he said sidelong, then quickly silenced.
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Re: Mists of Distant Shores

Post by UmbraSight » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:43 am

’Kellam knows all about shifting terrain’

Elencia’s posture tightened, her green eyes flicked away from the daughter and to her brother. She bit back any retort she might have offered up, it wouldn’t be proper to have a spat here. And so long as she didn’t engage she could likely just pass it off as a harmless jab-

"Oh, you are well versed in geography as well?"

-or not. Elencia’s eyes returned to the woman still with her book raised up to hide her face.

“Well, only the soft parts, ma’am.” Elencia said, without really thinking. She cleared her throat as she placed her hands behind her back in a peace rest.
//… and it was there, and her blade flicked out catching only air. She backed from the door, worn floorboards shivering with each misplaced step...// Fall of the Aelir Isles, Vol. III

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Re: Mists of Distant Shores

Post by Annasiel » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:51 am

Galen tried to stifle his laugh behind his hand, but only managed to transform what would have been a chuckle into something that sounded like a dying elephant. Uncomfortably, he glanced at the governor and the other soldiers, the former of which was staring with an extremely disapproving glare. His daughter, however, didn't seem to catch the mood, her gaze shifting rapidly between the two siblings.

At last she lowered the book. Galen's heart leaped. Fair features, with thin lips that ended in a plush -

You just met the girl, you bloody imbecile!

"I'm not sure I understand," the girl replied, tone measured. "The soft parts... do you mean map making? Globe crafting? The artistic elements? Or perhaps are you referring to silt...?"

Her hand holding the book fell to her side, snapping the cover shut. Galen felt another laugh blooming in his gut. Goddess be, the girl may be pretty, but she was an absolute dunce.

"Map making," he replied amidst ill-swallowed chortles, saving his sister the embarrassment of coming up with a response. He had gotten her into this situation, after all, and he couldn't help but feel a small morsel of guilt. "She likes map making. Ma'am."

"Oh?" The girl's gaze once more shifted to Elencia. "Cartesian or radial?"
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Re: Mists of Distant Shores

Post by UmbraSight » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:36 am

She was a pretty girl, wasn’t she? Going by the look on Gelan’s face, she was a very pretty girl, wasn’t she? Yet Elencia didn’t have long to muse over this before she found herself with a few more questions coming her way. All quite reasonable and none she quite had a ready answer for, perhaps something about it being a joke over the trench work she had helped shovel?

Well, before she had a chance to shamble an answer together, her brother oh so kindly offered up one of his own. Map making? He was getting quite the laugh out of all of this, wasn’t he?

“Oh?” The woman’s eyes shifted back to Elencia. Her gaze was steady and oppressive. Like looking out over the railing of a ship into the infinite horizon. "Cartesian or radial?"

Were those words? Was this some sort of test?

“I am sorry it disappoint, ma’am,” Elincia offered up, again clearing her throat, “but I have no formal training, I’m simply an amateur.”
//… and it was there, and her blade flicked out catching only air. She backed from the door, worn floorboards shivering with each misplaced step...// Fall of the Aelir Isles, Vol. III

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Re: Mists of Distant Shores

Post by Annasiel » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:11 am

The girl smiled, against all odds. Galen'd thought Elencia was about to make a right fool of herself, but she somehow, against all odds, managed to pull through. What was that the girl had said? Didn't Cartesian have to do with maths? Whatever maths had to do with map making, Galen had no clue. He must have skipped that lesson while learning geometry.

"Oh, I understand!" she said, and her voice was no longer somberly oppressive. Instead it was bright, almost to the point of joyous, brimming with enthusiasm over the subject at hand. "I was an amateur once myself! I would love to teach you everything you need to know - oh, if you want to, you can even assist me in my own mappings! The best way to learn is to do, as the tutors always like to say."

The governor, either bored by this display or in need of better things to do, clapped his hands. All the troops stood rigid in salute, Galen only matching them seconds after. By the look on the governor's face, the man had noticed.

"All the rest of you lot, report to barracks for duties!" he barked. "And for you two... keep her safe, and be back before nightfall. Is that understood?"
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Re: Mists of Distant Shores

Post by UmbraSight » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:48 pm

That went over well.

If being roped into being an mapmaker’s apprentice was ‘well,’ though gaining knowledge wasn’t exactly the worst thing. Chin up and keep steady on, the woman seemed excited enough to have someone to teach so how bad could it be? Though that was what they always said in stories before things turned dreadful, so perhaps it would be for the best not to test luck beyond its reasonable boundaries.

“Yes ma’am, that sounds like it would be lovely.” Elencia said, the start of a smile slipping onto her lips. However, before it had a chance to take hold, the Governor brought his hands together in a dramatic clap. Elencia’s salute sprung with military neatness as the Governor barked out another slew of orders.

“Sir, yes sir!” Elencia called, as she was addressed.
//… and it was there, and her blade flicked out catching only air. She backed from the door, worn floorboards shivering with each misplaced step...// Fall of the Aelir Isles, Vol. III

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