Ontaré/Deptimaya

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Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:19 am

Marai rode south along the coastline musing about how easy her job has been lately. Two new allies eager to make friends, and within a short distance of their own walls. This one, however, was turning out to be a bit of a trek. She stopped often to let her horse rest, and to stretch herself as her ceremonial armor was becoming noticeably cumbersome for the both of them.

She hoped the trip would not be a wasted effort. They had only heard rumors of a gnomish civilization along the Southeastern shore of the great lake. She hoped they were true, and not just for her kingdom's prosperity. She liked gnomes. They were often some of the most hospitable and... unique of the intelligent races.

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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Frostwander on Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:44 pm

At this point of Marai's journey, the jungle foliage stretched out from the east nearly to the water, though it was not so thick as to slow her mount's travel, and a warm wind blew from the inner sea.

"Stand and deliver!"

The speaker was one of a pair of female gnomes, no more than fifteen yards away, around head-height to Marai on the side of a fallen tree trunk. They were nearly identical in appearance. Their hair stuck up and out in a wild shock, woven through with leather strips and flowers, and was the bright green color of the jungle foliage. Where their dark green leather armor did not cover, well-tanned skin bore spiral patterns in green paint. Both sat mounted on a large spotted serval, which watched Marai's horse with disinterested yellow eyes. The gnomes each carried a bow ready to draw, though not pointed directly at the human woman.

The one on the left turned her head slightly toward her twin. "You can't say it like that, she'll think we're bandits!"

"Well, it sounds better than yelling 'Halt!' Too pompous."

They turned their attention back to Marai, and the first spoke again, "What and who are you?"
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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:38 pm

Marai pulled on her reigns bringing her horse to a stop. It looked like the rumors were true after all. She smiled and raised her hand in salute.

"Greetings! I am Marai Ileal, representative of Lady Iusta and the Kingdom of Ontaré. I have been sent to negotiate peaceful relations between our peoples." She said to the pair. They were about what she had expected, though the cats were a nice touch.

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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Frostwander on Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:29 pm

The two gnomes looked at each other, and lowered their bows. One spoke, "See, I told you she wasn't a monster. She's just bigger than us."

"Better safe, than sorry."

They turned back. "Good afternoon, and sorry for the surprise. We're Shepherds, this is Ymi, and I'm Meg. We've been watching the area here. There have been reports of unusually hostile creatures around."

"Peaceful negotiations from another kingdom, you say? That doesn't sound like us two ... but we can escort you back to Cardel, and you can get to Exodus from there."

Ymi and Meg nudged their cats' shoulders with their knees, and they hopped down from the log and started padding to the southwest. Meg looked back over her shoulder up at Marai, obviously inviting her to follow.

"So, what is that thing you're riding?"
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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:45 pm

"It's a pleasure to meet you Ymi and Meg." Marai said cordially, trying her best to remember names. "We call this a horse where I come from. They aren't quite as nimble as the lovely cats you ride, but they are sturdy and good for traveling long distances." She was used to these kinds of questions. In her work, she found it important to be aware of her own assumptions about what people have experienced.

"To whom would I speak once I make it to Exodus?" She nudged her horse to follow them. It did so with slight hesitation as it did not feel entirely comfortable near the servals.

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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Frostwander on Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:53 pm

"Once you get to Exodus, you should speak with the Voices. They work at the City Center, and anyone there can direct you to it."

They rode up the coast and over a low bluff. As Marai followed, she saw laid out along the beach a sprawling village of small houses. It had most of the appearance of a fishing village, save for fewer boats, and a lack of nets and general fish smell. The salty smell of the Inner Sea blew in on an easterly breeze.

"This is Cardel," Meg said, waving her arm expansively. "We'll ride through it and over the bridge, and then you can follow the road south from there to Exodus. There should be a wagon group leaving in a few hours, you should accompany them. There will be other Shepherds along to provide safety."
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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:47 am

"I greatly appreciate your assistance Ymi and Meg." Marai said, giving them a small bow. She did not wish to keep them much longer. Being shepherds, they must need to return to their flocks soon she thought. It suddenly occurred to her that she had not seen any flocks along the way, and the two seemed oddly outfitted for shepherds. Marai blushed to herself as she realized that she was the one being shepherded. That must be what they call their guards here.

She followed their directions, waiting for the wagon group to head out. They seemed very wary of traveling in their own lands, and Marai knew there was probably a reason for that.

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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Frostwander on Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:37 am

The wagon group consisted of four small wagons pulled by goats. Eight gnomes were there in total, including two more of the Shepherds. These two were not nearly so wild in appearance as Ymi and Meg, but were similarly equipped. They rode next to the drivers, and even took shifts with the reins.

They were all friendly, introducing themselves and talking jovially with Marai as she rode with them. The journey to Exodus took a couple days, as they did not force the pace. By the time they arrived, Marai had learned some of the basics of the Deptimayan culture and outlook, at least as represented by the townsfolk of Cardel, many of whom she learned were pearl divers. She learned about the Shepherds, who were volunteer militia and watchers, and was told a little about the Voices, who she was planning to see.

The wagoners took their leave of Marai in one of the fountain squares shortly after reaching the capital, after providing directions to the City Center. The city of Exodus towering stone buildings, with large open avenues between. Elevated walkways crossed above, and tiered gardens were laid out on alongside the streets and on top of building roofs. As she followed the gnomes' guidance, she rode past a massive cathedral with sweeping arches and stained glass windows, that seemed to be the center of much traffic.
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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:14 pm

Marai took advantage of the lengthy trip to get to know as much as she could about the gnomes' culture. This was her favorite part of her job. Other lands were always so fascinating. She marveled at the city gardens and the architecture of their cathedral, making small notes to bring back to Haven.

She learned that the Voices speak for their gods, which gave her some common ground with them at least. She dismounted her horse as she neared the City Center as a sign of respect.

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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Frostwander on Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:47 am

The foyer of the City Center did not seem busy today. There were a few gnomes conversing by a small fountain in the middle. They were passing some small wooden object between them, speaking quietly but in excited tones as they alternately pointed at the thing and talked over each other.

On one side of the room a low desk was placed in front of a rising staircase. Behind it sat an elderly gnome with thin tufts of grey hair, wearing a stubborn expression. A much younger gnome was sitting on the edge of the desk with her ankles crossed, facing him. Marai overheard her as she was finishing a sentence, "... and all I'm saying is it wouldn't hurt anyone if you want to take some time off."


Last edited by Frostwander on Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:17 pm

The human approached the desk, thinking this must be a receptionist of some sort. "Excuse me." She said with a short bow. "My name is Marai Ileal, representative of the Kingdom of Ontaré. I am looking for The Voices." This part always felt awkward, but showing a little vulnerability was good for diplomacy between friends.

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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Frostwander on Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:22 pm

The older gnome looked up at Marai, as the blonde girl slid her legs over to the front side of the desk so she could see the new arrival as well. He cleared his throat officially, "The Kingdom of Ontaré? We have not had any representatives from your kingdom before. Welcome to Exodus!"

The girl shifted a little and smiled, but restrained herself from interrupting as the clerk continued. "The Voice of the Sculptor is currently away from the city, but the Voice of the Painter," he glanced sideways at the squirming young woman, "would be glad to receive you."

"That's me!" The young woman stood and gave an elegant curtsey.

The corners of the old gnome's lips curled up a little despite his attempt to maintain dignity, as he finished, "This is Mistress Pyza Snowligh, Voice of Jeeva."
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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:32 pm

Marai grinned and returned Pyza's curtsey with a lower bow. "It is a pleasure to meet you Mistress Snowligh. I am the Lady's Voice. King Enann sends his regards, and hopes that we might establish an alliance between our peoples."

Honestly, she had expected a little more decorum even from gnomes, but she didn't mind the informality. This job can get so stuffy at times.

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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Frostwander on Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:27 pm

"Nice to meet you, too, Marai Ileal. We're always looking to make more friends of other nations, we should definitely talk! Let's go someplace we can better sit down."

The gnome lead Marai up two flights of stairs to a large room on the third floor. It more resembled a studio than an office - all of the walls had paintings hung upon them, landscapes and portraits and abstract designs in vivid color. In a number of places, the walls themselves had also been painted, as if there had not been sufficient canvas at hand.

While Marai looked around, Pyza had picked up a pitcher from the desk and poured herself a glass of water. She picked up another glass and looked to Marai, "Would you like some water? I have some honeyed treats we can share while we discuss the alliance you mentioned, as well."
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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:15 pm

"Your hospitality is most appreciated." Marai said cordially as she took the offered glass. "Did you do all these?" She asked, gesturing to the artwork. "They are lovely."

Marai took her time admiring the artwork, and snacked on Pyza's treats. She allowed the gnome time to size her up as she wanted to make sure she was at ease.

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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Frostwander on Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:18 pm

Pyza smiled, "Most of these are my paintings, but a few," she gestured, "belong to my students. We keep them up here so they can see their progress."

The gnome sat down behind a desk low enough that Marai could have used it for a footstool. "I'd love for you to tell me about your kingdom, Ontaré. Where is it, and how was your journey here? You said that you're a Voice of your Lady, who is she?"
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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:56 pm

Marai took a seat so as not to loom over the little gnome. "Ontaré lies far to the north. It is a relatively easy journey along the shore of the inner sea. Our Lady, Lady Iusta, brought us there after the Sundering. She is our protector, and encourages us to follow in Her example. We will gladly fight in the defense of our allies, but take no offensive action ourselves."

"And you are the Voice of the Painter? I would love to hear more about your position."

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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Frostwander on Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:43 am

Pyza listened with interest as Marai described her deity, sipping water and nibbling at one of the honey treats herself. "She sounds like a good protector. We Deptimayans are taught the same way; we want to be friends, but it's also important to be strong to help your friends and yourselves."

"The Painter is Jeeva. She and her brother, Jagavi, are the creators of the Deptimayans. They made our bodies and gave us souls, and then raised and taught us. As her Voice, I'm entrusted with continuing to teach her principles of creativity and compassion. My role is to guide the spirit of the people to ensure we flourish and grow.

"On Allis, we never spent much time exploring outside our home before the Sundering. Now that we're here, we want to make sure to get to know our neighbors. I feel it makes us stronger to share with other cultures. It gives us friends who can help where we might need, and lets us contribute what we have in surplus to those it will benefit."

Pyza gestured with the hand holding her sweet. "The honey for these treats we receive in trade from one of our friends, and our chefs use it to make these delicacies. In return, our artisans share with them some of our beautiful crafts. Value is gained by both sides over what we would have had alone."
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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:23 am

Marai nodded along. They did not seem too different as a people. "We, too, have been seeking trade with our neighbors. We don't have much in the way of indulgences." She smirked, taking another bite of the sweet confection. "But, our mountain and the surrounding lands are rich in iron and gems. We would be happy to accept your caravans in Haven, our capital. We could certainly use an artistic touch to our situation."

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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Frostwander on Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:25 pm

Pyza smiled broadly, "That's what I always tell Sunda! It's too easy to get caught up in building what you need, and forget adding a bit more color to help keep yourselves happy.

"We'd be glad to help you bring some more beauty to your lands. If you have gemstones, I bet we've got some artists who'd want to exchange finished work for the chance to work with those. And we definitely could make some use of iron, too. We'd be glad to exchange gold or stone for iron, depending what you need."

The gnome stood and walked over to a cabinet, "Let me get some maps, we can start looking at the route you took to get down here, and start planning for a caravan."

----
Deptimaya offers open trade with Ontaré, and also offers 6 gold or 3 stone in exchange for 3 iron.
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Re: Ontaré/Deptimaya

Post by Paxar on Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:04 pm

Ontaré will accept 3 stone for 3 iron, and a trade route with Deptimaya.

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