[P] vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world
#1
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Piscator co-rank challenge I - Every angler has necessities if they want to be successful! Craft yourself a fishing pole or knot yourself a net in preparation for a promising fishing trip.

216 words

Though Percy had moved out, home was not empty – in fact, Gaia had moved in not long after. She had insisted it would be temporary, though Daisy hadn't minded the company. The big space sometimes felt too big for them, but with two cats and what had become a crafting space, they seemed to need it.

One such project, her new fishing net, was halfway done, though Daisy had admittedly slacked on it. She had finally set her mind to finishing, and with great determination decided to go somewhere where she wouldn't be distracted.

This, unfortunately, had failed.

It was pleasant enough outside and the sound of the river was nice. New Caledonia's claim was far closer to the sea and the smell of salt was present if she looked for it hard enough, but the rivers ran clear. She liked to watch the fish (when she could see them) and the birds, and it was these which had proven more interesting. Daisy wasn't sure when she had first started watching them, but it had been long enough that she was creating imagined stories about the pair and what it was that had led to their noisy display.

The work in her lap was all but forgotten, though her fingers kept fidgeting with the cord.



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It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.
Character Wiki | New Caledonia | Player Wiki
#2
[html]

202 words


Chewing on a reed, Willow walked the riverbank seemingly with purpose – though it was a simple air to put on. Duck feathers braided in her hair, secured with bone beads and leather ties, and a makeshift amulet hanging between dappled breasts, the Cormier woman looked the part of a priestess.

But even a priestess sometimes needed guidance, and that was what brought her to the riverside, hoping that she might divine some answer from the rush of the current.

Willow didn't believe so literally in such a thing, but she recognized that certain places brought solace, and for her these places were lakes and forests and streams. She didn't expect a message to emerge from a fish's mouth, but one could discern lessons from watching nature run its course.

Noticing that her shaggy half-sister had chosen the same spot, the woman smiled broadly, then padded closer with a silent motion of her hand in greeting. She settled beside her, closer to the water so she could dip her ankles in, and pointed at the net, her brows quirking a question her fingers spelled out in tandem with her naturally loud, if relaxed, voice.

How's that coming along?


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[Image: kr.png]
I took the time to breathe
among the rootbuds and the weeds
but the peat moss and the leaves took turns with both my feet
#3
[html]

220 words

When Willow emerged from the leaf-bare forest, she did look like a wild thing – decorated with trappings and accessories that looked suitable for someone who had spent so long living in the north. Daisy did not know the whole of her sister's adventures, but recognized that she had answered a calling.

The Omniscients had always talked about this. They were believers too, but not in the way that she believed in the River Goddess. It had been about retribution and the end of days, and they were not above lying, even to one another.

She tried not to think about them.

These real, tangible people, were more important. Just having Willow here, by her side, was, important to grounding her to the here and now.

Hey Willa, the shaggy wolfdog returned. She hoisted the net-in-progress aloft to display. It's comin' along good! I dunno how big I wanna make it yet – thinkin' I might try an set it up so I can move it, I think. Y'know, if I can find some big sticks I can jus' stick 'em down wherever. She spread her hands to show what she meant. The half-formed net was not wide enough to look terribly impressive, but the idea was there.

What're you doin'? I like yer hair, she added, wagging her tail.



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It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.
Character Wiki | New Caledonia | Player Wiki
#4
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Priest Tier II: Preach the good word! Share the message of your chosen deity or deities to receptive Caledonians. Share stories of hope and triumph...vengeance.

361


Weaving nets was time-consuming work, and in her youthful impatience Willow had abandoned one or two such projects for better craftspeople to finish. These days, she enjoyed the rhythm occupying her hands while her thoughts wandered -- which made her even slower. She wasn't the go-to if you needed a net or pole done quickly, but as a hobbyist, she wasn't shabby.

Her eye was far from critical as she looked at her half-sister's work, more interested in Daisy's thoughts than the net itself. Sounds good t' me. Best not t' fish the same spot too long, she mused in an absentminded fashion. Enjoying the cold of the water, she kicked her ankles in gentle motions as to not make a splash. She didn't know if fish were intelligent enough to avoid such places, but reason and experience cautioned her against overfishing. New Caledonia's waters were plentiful enough that food wasn't a problem, but as their Realm grew, they would need to be careful with their resources.

Willow grinned and combed fingers through the wavy ends of her hair. Thank ya, she woofed. Been try'na look like a proper priestess, she added with an affected tone, her tufty chin lifted, but then her eyes crinkled and tongue lolled to belie this. It's fun t' find feathers 'n' shells 'n' things. If it brings me closer t' Nín, t' the River Goddess, all the better.

She leaned back and lifted a foot out of the water. That's what I'm doin', she said, tucking that leg beneath her as the other made small circles. River's changed after the floods 'n' everythin' else. Feels important t' reconnect with her. Whether she referred to either goddess or the river itself was up to interpretation, but Willow believed that they were all one and the same. I try t' do my part, treat her with respect... I throw back my small catches so they can grow strong, 'n' I'm careful on the shore. Lest Nín pull her into her embrace early, made fickle by the damage to the earth.


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[Image: kr.png]
I took the time to breathe
among the rootbuds and the weeds
but the peat moss and the leaves took turns with both my feet
#5
[html]

310 words

Oh sure, Daisy agreed pleasantly enough. She was aware of the ebb and flow of fish and prey and how they, as both guardians and predators, needed to establish a balance in order to allow the lot to thrive. This was less of a conscious, constant thought – from a young age she had learned about give and take and what those sorts of things meant.

It was all relative and connected, like the little pieces of her net as they came together. Though she had big paws and was not especially fussy about work like stitching or anything truly creative, what Daisy felt comfortable with were things she excelled in. Making a net was a matter of repetition and almost-mindless actions.

Willow's talk about her duty as a priestess (something Daisy thought sounded appropriate for her worldly elder sister) soon led to further thoughts about the river itself, and her faith as a whole. It seemed to Daisy that Willow was always certain about who she was and what she was doing.

She made it sound so easy. Sometimes it felt like this was the case – as if Daisy could just laugh things off and be herself, bright and bold and without care.

Sometimes it wasn't like that at all.

A little knot was added to the place where Daisy was patching, and she used this as an excuse to look away from Willow. Sometimes she felt the pressure of expectation from stares, and not looking at people often made talking to them easier.

Is this River Goddess like our River Goddess? She asked a little sheepishly. I ain't really spent too much time learnin' 'bout all that yet. It sounds cool, anyhow, Daisy added, hunching her shoulders a little as she looped the long end of her cord through her previous loop to begin the next chain.



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[/html]
It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.
Character Wiki | New Caledonia | Player Wiki
#6
[html]
330


Oh, I reckon they're sim'lar, Willow said without deeper thought, then teased the tuft of beard she'd stubbornly cultivated over the seasons.

She laughed lightly as she came to a realization, leaning on her thigh as she swirled her ankle in the water again, the current crisp between her toes. Or I like t' think so. 'Til the gods come out t' speak to us face-t'-face, the truth is up to us, en't it? Others might have considered such words sacrilege, but the gods of Caledonia didn't have written scripture or laws that she knew of. Theirs were stories spread through spoken word, tenets demonstrated through deed -- much like the River Goddess was for Krokar.

Lot of it is balance an' the cycle o' life, the connection between every living thing. Among the humble fisherfolk and even on the arctic shores, it was believed everything had a soul. No part of prey was wasted, from the snowshoe hare to the colossal whale. Willow offered her catches the same respect, pleasing the gods that way. Things our parents taught us, she added with a smile, though she hadn't witnessed Eliza and Milos raise her younger half-siblings.

Only diff'rence is some of the stories 're darker, she added, drawing her foot out of the river and tucking this beneath her, too, seated tailor-style. En't remember stories 'bout the River Goddess swallowin' ya up if y' been bad.

From what she knew of the Old gods -- and the priest who shared his stories -- she hadn't been surprised to hear such a morbid tale. The pious had little to fear, and Willow thought that only the proud and reckless might meet Nín under the waves. As for her and her family, she thought them all worthy of Nín's favor and protection, even if they didn't pray to her; they were raised to respect the waters and life.


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[Image: kr.png]
I took the time to breathe
among the rootbuds and the weeds
but the peat moss and the leaves took turns with both my feet
#7
[html]

260 words

Nets were simple things, really. All it took to make a net was plenty of cord and patience. As she pieced the knots together the grander pattern emerged – not particularly beautiful like a woven piece of fabric, nor anything as grand as a King's clothes, but something practical and orderly.

She had learned through trial and error what sort of size these holes needed to be. Fish that were too small did not need to be caught, so the net needed large enough gaps to let them pass. The places where they could pass through needed to be small enough to stop a larger fish once it had gone through, ideally before it's body made it in. With enough thrashing, all of her work could be compromised or torn.

In a way, the endless loops Daisy made now sounded a bit like Nín's presence. She could draw parallels in her own mind in regards to what Willow told her here and what their parents and the other spiritualists of Krokar had previously taught her.

The darker stories, the idea of many things being one, well, Daisy knew about those sort of things too.

She considered this as she wove pieces of the fiber through one another, tightening up a gap too large for her liking.

Would y'tell me about her, while I work on this? Daisy asked, hopeful she might be able to have some time with her elder sister. I like hearin' stories, an' if I'm gonna be fishin' in her waters s'probably stuff I should know, huh?



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[/html]
It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.
Character Wiki | New Caledonia | Player Wiki
#8
[html]
418


Reckon so, Willow said, then fell into silence for several heartbeats.

Truth be told, she didn't feel as if these were her stories to tell. She hadn't been raised on parables of thorn and reed; she didn't possess the blood of Lorn. But, she realized, there were few left in this world who could claim that. If she didn't help pass on these tales, they would soon be forgotten, and that notion upset her.

She didn't fancy herself a storyteller, but she was honest, and she knew how to find words to reassure others. When Athras had preached to her, the words seemed to explain concepts and beliefs she already held, helped the world make sense. She drew breath, knowing that even if she didn't get all the details right, they would be part of the river goddess' many truths, and her own.

Nín came from Nanin, the Verdant Stag. She was a seed in his chest that fell into the water when he drank. She stared into the shallows, the silty riverbed. She grew in the dark depths, where everythin' is green an' murky. Part bird, wet feathers 'n' a sharp beak like a heron; part fish, long like a pike. She grinned; it was her own imagination, but she supposed everyone visualized her differently, this beast that none alive had laid eyes on. Nín was meant to inspire awe and caution.

As she wove her tale, her hands wove designs in the air: intricate finger signs and embellished pantomimes both. She spoke of a kind-hearted girl who talked to the river like it was a friend, and walked its banks every day -- routinely enough to find a bedraggled heron ensnared in a carelessly forgotten fishing net before it perished. She freed the bird, who left her a feather that she wore every day. At the end of the story, this favor saved the girl's life; when she fell into its current during a terrible flood, a fish saw the bright feather when she was on the cusp of drowning, pulling her body through treacherous rock and entangling plant beds to the shore.

It was a simple story, one whose heart had roots in many pantheons, but its imagery spoke to the Cormier woman in a way other iterations did not.

Everythin' comes 'round, Willow said. She began idly placing bits of rock from the shallows in front of her, forming a circle. Seasons, tides, an' us.


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[/html]
[Image: kr.png]
I took the time to breathe
among the rootbuds and the weeds
but the peat moss and the leaves took turns with both my feet
#9
[html]

242 words

It was a creation story that recalled things Daisy already knew. The waters fed life, and seeds created life, but nothing living, nothing like this fish-bird goddess who lived in the depths.

She thought of another face when she imagined this creature – one of cruder make and cruder tongue, who spoke like a mystic but stank of blood and death. The Omniscients had believed in a one-God that was many, and in this being they had placed the elements. For them, water and flesh had been one. The proof was in blood, the blonde woman who started fires told her.

These voices could be muffled by louder sounds.

Daisy focused on her sister's voice, stopping her work occasionally to watch the motions Willow made with her hands. It was not like language, not exactly, but the art and the rhythm of the storytelling made it seem like it could be.

Pleased by the outcome of the story, Daisy smiled and let out a contented sigh.

I like that, she said. That was a good story, Willa', thanks for tellin' it.

Then, with restrained fanfare, Daisy lifted her net once more. It was much longer than her arm-span, but the section on display made the greater pattern apparent. All of her intricate knotting and looping had created a barrier which, with any luck, would catch plenty of fish without expending too much further effort.

An' look, now it's all done! What'chya think?



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[/html]
It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.
Character Wiki | New Caledonia | Player Wiki


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