Voluspa/Kaizen

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Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by Skjaeren on Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:59 pm

Vegtam Grimirgren was not the young, adventurous treant he used to be. In his younger years, a trip like this would have taken him little time at all. Of course, in his younger seasons, he hadn't yet learned to fully appreciate the scenery either. He smiled a content smile at that, letting his roots sink into the soil and feeling the different minerals and strata beneath him. His legs had grown short and gnobbly, in the way that an old treant's legs are wont to do as they turn to being wholly roots. But with them, he could feel the earth far below him, and savor the sensations of the minerals below which he might taste if he allowed himself to stay here and slow down. Not that he was ready to do so.

His eyes gazed sleepily on the forest surrounding him. He had picked the spot and direction with the best view on which to ponder as he rested, and he drank in the patterns of light that filtered down through the branches of the tropical trees. And off in the distance, where the jungle-like forest began to thin, were hills. Beyond those, great mountains stretched against the horizon, painted in an array of different colors as the sunset reflected on their clay and stone.

Hidden well within the branches sprouting from his shoulders, his ears listened, picking up the sounds of the trees rustling in the gentle breeze. Wildlife was abundant in this part of the wood, and he heard tropical birds making strange calls and squawks on occasion. The entire experience of putting his roots down to rest was different here than in Grimnismal and the other villages of Voluspa, where he had wandered to already, each as soon as he'd heard of them being established.

Simply beautiful. And a hundred more unique places waited for him out there in this new world. No, no I will not stay here. I have many places yet to see before I slow down and stop. And now I have new people to meet as well. he thought as his trunk groaned and settled into place. But these roots are not what they used to be, and I have a long journey and climb ahead of me. I think... I shall let myself doze here for a night ... or two before I continue. He stared serenely forward at the terrain before him, his eyes very slowly drifting closed as he savored the sights, sounds, and feelings. As he settled into place, his leaves and branches spread open above his thick, stocky trunk, and his roots very slowly shifted their ends down under the surface of the soil. In his old age, he looked remarkably like a regular old cottonwood tree, a bit shorter and with a thicker trunk than an experienced woodsman would usually see.

---

"Gnnnaaaaaaaahhhh. That ... was a good ... nap. ... Only a day or two." he groaned aloud as he began to shift, lifting his roots up from the earth and stretching his branches, before gently shaking them to get the birds out. After a few moments, his leaves began to fold and his branches pull together a bit, bundling up most of his foliage to be manageable, aside from the twigs and bushy leaves that, when his face was apparent, made up the sides of his beard. He took his time, drinking in the light from the sunrise to the east. He was glad that the sun rose and set on this world in a manner close to the same as it did on Allis. If it did not, he reasoned, he likely would have forgotten and wandered back to Voluspa a half dozen times before he got it right and continued going north.

Of course, he never would have admitted to his error in direction to the younger treants. They were needlessly worried for him enough as it was, thinking that he had grown too old for this sort of thing, certainly too old to wander outside of the forest altogether. But he was not ready to slow down and settle into the earth for good just yet, and a trip like the wanderings of his younger days was just the thing to keep him going. When Sotlila had mentioned her visions of the meditative, quite, and reflecting avians in the mountains to the north, he absolutely insisted that he wanted to be the one to journey there, and meet these strange folk. It was hardly as if his wandering spirit had the indispensable wisdom and knowledge of Havamal, or as if his people needed him for anything else. He couldn't wait to feast his eyes on the view from those mountain peaks, and feel those mineral veins beneath his roots.

"Hrrrmmm, ... onward!" he grunted, lifting his trunk up and flexing his roots with a creak of timbers, beginning north once more. "I ... very much look forward ... to meeting these bird people, ... as long as they don't ... build heavy nests in my branches. If it's as beautiful there as I think it ... will be, I might just ... teach them a thing or two ... about meditation. Hmmm, ... and maybe I'm not ... to old to learn something ... myself."

------------

"Uugn... ahhh ... Ohhh, these roots of mine..." Vegtam groaned as he crested the latest mountain rock. "Why do mountains ... have to be ... so tall. ... And difficult ... to climb." he huffed.

He had come a very long way over the last few weeks, stopping regularly to take 'naps' that cost him a day or two at a time. Still, he thought that he was making fairly decent time for a treant of his age. Since he'd left the boundaries of the forest, the going had gotten significantly tougher than he remembered from his younger days. Partly it was due to his ponderous upper branches and foliage that made him wobble a bit as he moved onward, and when the wind picked up in the wrong direction. Just part of getting this old. he told himself, thinking aloud half way through. "Oh how I ... wish that I ... could be ... young again ... and still remember how ... to appreciate it."

There were not so many other trees up here, but there were a few here and there. Unlike back in the forests to the south, these did not always shift their branches as he passed to avoid catching his upper foliage. That had been a nasty surprise the first few times, but now that he saw it coming, he would stop the moment he felt a tangle, look up, and grumblingly scold the offending plant as he carefully stepped past it.

There were a set of such foreign trees ahead of him now. Curiously alluring, these were covered in pink cherry blossoms, and a tiny brook trickled quietly passed them. They seemed to be arranged on a ledge that looked out from the mountain he was climbing over one of the valleys below, making what his instincts told him would be a beautiful overlook and place to rest, in a location conveniently hidden from view from most angles below. Altering his course just slightly, he determined to make his way there.

And make his way there, he did, carefully shuffling between the cherry blossom trees. The earth here did not exactly seem tilled, but the ledge was wide, and there looked to be a softer place near the back against the mountain. His roots groaning with fatigue, he wobbled over to that spot, and after looking around to be sure he was alone, began to relax and take root, looking out over the valley past the brook and the cherry blossoms. "Aaaaahhhhh. ... This ... is why ... I travel. ... What a pristine place to rest in."

He thought about the place where he had taken root as he let himself slowly drift off for the next several hours, enjoying the sunset. It was such a quiet, serene place that he would have suspected it to be a deliberately planted garden, had there been anyone around, or any sign of nearby buildings from below. The ground did seem to be notably smooth in places, and soft in others, as if intended to be a path, yet it did not feel completely artificially arranged. Perhaps there was a mountain path that led here from a village nearby, which had simply hidden from his sight? He heard no signs of bustling activity, or of little ones calling out to one another as they made their way home for the day. I will wait here a while, I think, and see if anyone comes. If this is not near to where the bird folk live... it will still have been time well spent.
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:30 pm

Three young Kaizen flew through between the mountain peeks.

"Daiki.." the youngest huffed out trailing behind" Brother Please slow down!" she begged as she worked her smaller wings in a flurry trying to keep up with the larger two.

The older one looked back "Go home Haruki!" the older one shouted back as the two.

"Mom said you had to play with me" She shouted back with what little of the thin air she could grasp.

His friend Naoki looked over to him "She's your sister" he said in a passive tone, yet somehow reproachingly.

Daiki made a slighly pained expression before conceeding. "Ugg fine!" he said and making a bee-line to what looked like a large mountain tree.

The three fluttered down, Taloned feet grabbing the branches skillfully, except the smallest who clung the to trunk for support as well.

"Haruki, if you can't keep up you shouldn't of come with us." The older brother protest however his friend cuts him of.

"Don't you think your being a little harsh? She is not the strongest of fliers true, But she is young to be flying as well as she does." Naoki added.

"Yea" She said beeming at her supporter who seemed to be ammused at the entire situation. "Besides, there isn't anything to do, Lord Xai said to avoid the vally, and most of the ones my age are being kept away because they don't fly as good as me!"
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by Skjaeren on Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:10 pm

The timbers of the tree had groaned under them just as soon as they landed. After a moment, the branches shifted slightly, and the bark of the tree where the youngest avian's talons rested croaked and bulged. Then a rumbling, low bass sound like a very muted sousaphone came from the face that she was now perched upon.

"Hrrrrrmmm, ... I thay, youmng ... Hathuki wath it? Woulb you minth takimng your footh ... off my mouth?"

As soon as the offending limb was removed, he scrunched his face up once or twice, twisting his nose, and then said "Better. ... Hmmmm ... good...morning?"
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:39 am

The three let out a yelp as the realized their perch was very much alive, and launched themselves in short order from their visitors branches.

Unfortunately for the youngest, her inexperience caught up with her, and she revisited a branch with her face, sending the young Kaizen tumbling.

"Haru!" cried her brother Daiki as he dropped down to his sister, and picked up a branch, holding it as though it where a one of the temples mirrored blades. Before he could give challenge, Naoki gently hovered in front of their visitor.

"Good morning to you, elder of roots and leaves. Our apologies, we where not aware our chosen resting place was occupied, or an occupant as the case may be..." he said nonplussed.
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by Skjaeren on Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:22 pm

"Oh my. ... Hrrmmnnn..." Vegtam groaned, still stretching his bark a bit to limber himself at a leisurely pace for ... well, there's no need to get up just yet. I already seem to have given the little ones a start. Perhaps I should rest my roots a bit longer while I say hello. ... and with that he settled mostly still.

"It is quite alright ... flying little one. ... I don't believe I caught your name. ... I am Vegtam and ... may I say that this ... lovely little overlook ... garden ... is one of the finest places ... I have put my roots down ... to think and rest ... in quite some years. ..."

As the old cottonwood spoke, he thought his words out, trying to think how to put the two who seemed in a panic at ease. Hmmm, if they have not seen treants before, it makes sense. The older one who scolded the girl a moment ago has very protective instincts about her. This one in front though is very calm and composed. I shall continue to speak to him. "Is your friend ... Haruki, was it? ... alright there? That felt like a sturdy knock ... her head took."
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:45 pm

"I am Naoki, as for Haruki I will..." he began a touch of worry in his voice.

"That tree can talk!" came a feminine voice from the ground.

"...assume she is around her normal level of 'alright' " he said passively, but sounding relived.

"Hey!" came the voice of of Haruki, along with a snicker from Daiki, followed by a thump, "Ow! What was that for" demanded  the brother.

"Please forgive them, they're young."  he excused his companions.

"Your the same age as me Nao" grumbled Daiki.

"At any rate. It is our honor to meet you Master Vegtam." he says, holding a closed talon within an open one, while on the wing.
\


Last edited by dragonlord7012 on Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by Skjaeren on Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:23 pm

"Hmmmnnn ..." Vegtam's lips curled into a smile, "The same age as the other, but ... older. ... Treants can be ... the same way. ... But there is nothing ... to forgive. ... The younger ones will play ... and the older ones will watch ... and smile. ... That is often the way of life."

The old tree's trunk and branches groaned again as he stirred, keeping his roots set in the earth still. Leaning his trunk forward, he made a semblance of his people's friendly greeting, bowing a bit and opening the two large branches that were his arms wide apart at a downward angle. "It is a pleasure ... to meet you as well, ... young master Naoki."
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:06 pm

Naoki nods, embarrased to called master, he didn't feel he truthfully had enough knowledge to teach, but he accepted the praise all the same.

Daiki seemed to of recovered, and his sister proving to be okay, if a bit ruffled, he interjected himself in the conversation, attempting to appear more mature.

"My appologies Master Vegtam, I am Daiki, and this is my sister Haruki. We live in the nearby village to the northwest, on the border of a vally." he said pointing.

"May I ask; do you live here, and if not, what brings you so near to our mountain home. The mountains can be very harsh for many...rooted things." he finishes a bit lamely.
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by Skjaeren on Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:05 am

"Daiki ... and Haruki ... a pleasure to meet you as well." he began, smiling, but trying to remain formal and polite. "I am ... not from the mountains, no. ... The climb has not been terribly easy ... but the views have been ... lovely. I am from the Great Forest, ... Voluspa, or what is left of it. ... To the south."

"Ahem..." he continued. "I come ... to say 'hello' on behalf of the forest. While it has been quite ... a long walk, your people are our neighbors, in a manner of speaking ... hmmmm ... and we wished to establish ... what was it ... good relations. ... You said there was a ... village to the northwest a ways? ... If I wouldn't be imposing or interrupting ... something, would you perhaps ... be willing to show me the ... way there? I should like to meet ... more of your people ..." he rolled his eyebrows in thought for a moment. "Ehhh,... what do your people prefer to be called?"
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:41 pm

Naoki nodded, growing accustomed the the large beings manner of speech.

"We call our-selves the Kaizen, and there is indeed a village to the north, however there is currently an investigation into strange ruins in the area."

" I do not know the mystery behind them, and while speculation is that they are harmless, I cannot say if visiting would be in good judgement or not because of it. Our leader, Lord Xai had decided to err on the side of caution however, and sent a large number of soldiers as support in case such an event warrants it."

"So long as you understand that there is a small chance of danger, I would be glad to lead you to our village, or if you choose not to, I can direct you to a nearby meeting place and ask our elders to speak with you if they have the authority, and if they do not, they will assuredly send a guide to our capitol, which is the next closest city. With their aid the trek should be far less taxing with them finding the best path ahead of time."

"Nao, you probably could of just said 'we would be happy too, but we need to ask an elder if its okay', and left it at that..." says the voice of Daiki behind him, to which Naoki gives him look, as he simply shrugs it off unrepentant.
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by Skjaeren on Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:28 pm

The old tree chuckled a bit at the children's critique of one another. "Hrrmmmm ... well, ... there is a small chance ... of danger everywhere, I think. ... I would be happy to come with you ... to the village. ... If your elders would like, I might even ... take a look at the symbols ... and see if they shake anything out ... of my memory. ... I'm not as wise as some treants are when they ... get to be my age, but ... I am well traveled."

As he spoke, he finally began to retract his upper branches, as much as he was still able to do so, and work his roots up gently out of the soil, shifting them this way and that, together into something that resembled short, knobbly legs.
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:48 pm

Naoki nodded as he lead the elder to the village.

The small huddle of hutches hovered over the vally below, Carving around the mountainside.

The kaizen children flew to it and shortly after a new kaizen carrying a staff with rings jangling on a top ring glided towards him.

"Master Vegtam, I am Kyung-sun Hao, a Priest of Kifu. How may i help you today?"
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by Skjaeren on Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:35 pm

The old tree groaned again as he took another half bow.

"Hhhnnggg ... A pleasure to meet you ... Kyung ... sun ... Hao." Vegtam took his time and pronounced the name slowly, trying to make sure he had it right.

"I am Vegtam Grimirgren, of the great forest of Voluspa. ..... We are regrowing in the forests to the south of this mountain range. ..... Our young seer was given a glimpse of your people, ... and we thought it wise to send someone to say 'hello' to our new ... neighbors. ... And with he example some other little ones are setting us, ... I was asked to discuss the possibility ... of trade as well."

He stopped speaking for a moment, his leaves spreading open and closed slightly, and his old eyes looked around over the village. "Hrrmmmmm, ... you may help me today. ... Is there a garden or empty plot of earth here where you would not mind ... an old cottonwood taking root for a while? ... I would like to rest my old roots again while we ... converse. ... Any old spot will do, I am not too picky."
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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by dragonlord7012 on Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:46 pm

Kyung-Sun nods.

"Of course Master Vegtam. Your gesture of friendship is both welcome and reciprocated. Please, feel free to make yourself at home." he says with a bow.

"I will also note that Lord Xai has sent me to deal with any diplomatic issues that may arise in the area. If you wish I can negotiate with you at your leisure. Already I can state however, that our people would be both willing, and eager for new avenues of trade."

"Oh, but be warned. We received word only today that the silver on these lands may bear a curse. If you happen upon any we will not begrudge you the choice of what to do, but I personally would advise against taking any.

[Kaizen opens Trade w/ Voluspa]


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Re: Voluspa/Kaizen

Post by Skjaeren on Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:55 am

"Cursed? Hrmmmmm ..." mooded the old tree.

"I shall keep my roots well out of it then. ... Thank you for the warning. ... Ahh, that spot over there looks ... quite comfortable, if I wouldn't be in anyone's way." he said, pointing out a small plot of earth. "I should very much like to take you up ... on your hospitality, and stay a few days. ... And we can talk about our cultures, at our leisure. ... I have heard that your people are especially fond of quiet ... contemplation."
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