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Laskiel Caphra


"Here as I write, I will show my honest best. I can be a teller of stories at times, but I fair far better at wielding my words in benefit of a coin then doing so for the benefit of just a pen. But I’ll make an attempt.
My roots lie in the southern tip Phunjad, just on the out skirts of Sundad. My parents were both crafters of fabrics and leathers. They worked hard, and we lived fairly well because of it. And as soon as I completed basic school, I was put strait into their work.
It was an honest living and I had an adept enough hand at it. But older I grew the more my head was filled with the stories of the travels and adventures of our more talkative customers. Thinking back, I’m certain most of the tales were over blown and aimed only to impress. To the chagrin of my parents, I was naive enough at the time to be taken in by them.
I decided I would much prefer the life of a traveling trader and merchant. Such an idea did not go over very well with father and mother. Their answers to my dream were clear. But my stubbornness was that of my fathers, and I had my headstrong youth to guide me. The denial of support only fueled the desire. So After little over a year of secretly saving and planning, I made my escape.
The short of it is that I did succeed, though much differently then I had envisioned. I became a merchant and purveyor of many things for a great many needs. Business stays good because I don’t often quibble about what’s in the boxes I carry nor do I question my customers too harshly about the items they request. I just provide a service; it’s as simple as that. I keep to my own and my own keep me.
Of course there were many more adventures between then and now, but for now that’s all I’ll give. "


Last edited by Lasciel Caphra, 2/13/2013, 1:30 am
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Re: Laskiel Caphra


I can't wait to hear more of her travels!

~Deakon~

---
Born and raised Eryndor,
Every thing else is just a foam stick...

http://www.dagorhiroftallahassee.webs.com
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To be named....


I finished the first chapter. I hope to keep this an ongoing thing. Please enjoy and leave critiques if you with.


Chapter One: Beasts and Their Burdens

The flat, clay ground that normally played host to the prickly and unfriendly brushes that belted the fringes of the northern city of Shuktan, had a rather different sight to break up the monotony of the landscape. If one of its boarder skirting denizens had enough care to give a glance to the normally dull sight of the flat lands just then, they would have been treated to the image of a frantic and quickly expanding speck, kicking up a cloud of dust on the horizon.

That unfortunate speck, as hypothetical on looker may have noticed, had gained legs. Even more, through the dust one could notice arms swath in baggy linen sleeves and clutching desperately to a large wicker basket. If this hypothetical viewer had only bothered with a passing glace, it would have looked quite like the appendages belonged to the basket itself. A crazed and wild basket roaming the flat lands. As interesting as such a sight might have been, the on looker would have been fairly disappointed to find they actually belonged to a woman behind the basket. That let down would not last for too long of course. As soon as they noticed the monstrous lumbering shape that trailed only meters behind, that disappointment would soon enough be replaced with alarm.

The woman’s name is Laskiel Caphra, a would be merchant from southern Shunshin. And the beast that was currently pursuing her with ungainly fervor, was her own newly purchased riding Naagii. The Naagii were truly something to behold. Being the primary mode of travel within the lands of Arhin Jad, these creatures were often sleek mounts that moved with grace over the terrain. Some had long clawed toes, ideal from gripping the shifting sands and scaling jagged rock formations. Said to be descendants of dragons, their scales could be like that of jeweled sheets freshly polished that shimmered as they hugged the lean muscles of their bodies. They could be truly exquisite creatures.

It would be much easier to convince someone that this particular Naagii, currently in hot pursuit of its new owner was, was of a lineage of proud and prodigious pontoons. Despite the effort it put into the chase, the old lizard lumbered along after Laskiel at a remarkable slow pace for a creature four times the length of the hapless owner. The momentum of its own sloshing belly, bloated and kept just barely out of reach of the ground, threw off the naagii’s balance just enough to impede his pace. Quite a fortunate thing for Laskiel. What was unfortunate however was the fact that being four times the length that she was, with legs to accommodate such, it did at least have a much longer stride than she could achieve. Giving it just enough of an advantage to keep its jaws near snapping distance of her backside.

“FAK DRAK nu SHEERHI!! ” Laskiel adjust her grip on the basket. It was far too wide for her to get her arms entirely around. Even with her nails digging so deeply into the face of it that the reeds began to spread to accommodate her fingers, the weight continued to free the basket from her precarious grip. Every few steps the basket slipped lower and lower until she could see entirely over it. There was every chance she could evade the lummox trailing her if she sacrificed the over sized parcel, but she could never bring herself to such waste. To lose a perfectly good basket filled with brand new merchandise simply because of one ornery lizard that had lost its temper could not be permissible. And in defiance of the slipping basket and the rogue Naagii, she turned her head once more and shouted,
“STUPID SMELLY BEAST!!” Feeling the fervor of her own words, she continued, “THIS IS NO KIND OF LOYALTY. IF IT WEREN’T FOR ME YOU WOULD BE ROTTING IN THOSE OLD STABLES!!”

In actuality the Naagii was thinking quite the same thing.

If it were not for this loud unpleasant thing before her, it would have surely still been warm and comfortable back in the stables. For the loud thing to come in and started making demands and tugging on her reigns, all without notice or greeting, was quite near obscene. This Naagii had been around longer than the loud thing had been breathing, and was out to teach it some respect.


“UNGRATFUL…” she adjusted her hands on the basket trying to regain her grip, “STUB TOED… SON OF A TRHISK!! ”, but she was still losing hold of the basket, “I HOPE YOU’RE REBORN AS THE UNSAVORY PARTS OF A ----” . The basket clipped the edge of a jutting stone and the chain reaction caused from it pulling suddenly out of Laskiel’s hand sent her face first in to the dirt. The top of the basket popped off and sent the contents tumbling to the ground alongside her. The precious contents she had been protecting had been more junk than jewel. Small carved toys, charms, and brass plates poorly painted with a desert landscape; the basket was filled with things only a tourist would ever consider buying.
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Beasts and Their Burdens


Covered in sand and a little dazed, Lask scrambled to her knees and began rescuing the items. Broken or no, she began stuffing them back in to the container. At the sight of her scattered profit margin she had near forgotten the original danger. She froze and stiffened as the shadow of the beast darkened the ground around her.

She tried to steady her hand, which had apparently been unaware of the Naagii and was still busy fighting the urge to return an item it clutched to the basket. With a held breath she slowly turned to face the couple ton monster that loomed over her, huffing and spraying saliva through it decades dulled teeth. It snapped its head to the side to eye her for the briefest of moments then in one swift motion opened its jaws and descended upon her.

In that same instant Laskiel threw up the hand that still clutched a piece of her merchandise and shielded herself with its contents. The unpainted side of a brass plate and the intense light of the near noon sun shot a blinding beam into the eyes of the Naagii. It was just enough to cause it to recoil. Laskiel tossed the plate aside as she scramble from under the creature. The distraction wasn’t enough to keep the Naagii occupied for long. As soon as the creature recovered, the chase resumed.

But unlike her perturbed lizard, no human was made to keep up this pace in the kind of heat that beat down on the flat lands so near the greater deserts edge. She was slowing, and the unbroken waddling gallop of the Naagii would eventually be enough to track her down. Through squinted eyes she looked out ahead of her to see the horizon dotted with small mud-brick houses. They were miles away from her and the ability to see them had only been granted by the flattened landscape north of Shuktan. ‘Maybe’, she thought vainly, ‘if I can make it to one of the town skirting houses I can force my way in and politely explain the situation after making sure I hadn’t been mauled by a Naagii’.

These thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a whistle came out over the distance from behind, in a rhythm of two short and one long. A very familiar sound.

Though Laskiel could not see it around her pursuer, a large dust cloud was forming in the expanse behind them. From the cloud broke two more Naagii. The one at the forefront looking much closer to the elite and legendary breeds told about in old fairy tails, than the rounded lizard that was still chasing Lask. Its barreled chest smoothly curved into a slim stream line form and its long limbs ripped across the sand with the ease of a soft wind. The Naagii’s blue scales played a stark contrast to the dust picked up behind it as it broke from the side of dull green Naagii that was attempting to keep pace. The whistle came again from its rider. This time Laskiel was certain who it was. Astride the blue mount was Roft, her second in command. At first glimpse a portly fellow, but a closer look would show his bulk was built on a foundation of muscle that age made round and soft. His beard was long enough to be braided and beat against his chest in rhythm to the Naagii’s steps. He led his beast alongside the rogue with a deft hand.

At Roft’s command, the blue desert jewel snapped and nipped at the Naagii to force it to make some distance between its self and Laskiel. The Naagii growled in protest, but began to recede. When Roft was satisfied with the space, he pushed the Naagii he road forward which kept pace with Laskiel with the faintest of efforts. Roft threw a meaty had out to Lask, and it was taken up without question. Laskiel was hoisted up onto the creatures back.

The green Naagii, a shorter legged and stockier built lizard, darted along the opposite side of the elder Naagii. Its rider tossed a rope and subdued the beast. It gave some show of a struggle but had wasted much of its energy in the pursuit and missed out on his breakfast because of it. The naagii was in no mood to continue and went, however reluctantly, with the rider. Roft gave them the signal to head back. The rider returned with a curt nod and turned the creatures back towards the direction they came from.

Roft pulled the reigns. The blue Naagii trotted to a stop and followed the tug the led him to obediently turn around. Laskiel gestured to the scattering of trinkets, and without words Roft directed the beast to it. Laskiel was glad for the moment of silence. Her chest still heaved from exertion, and she preferred not to attempt words between her lungs desperate gulps for air. It also postponed the embarrassing topic of what had just transpired.

When they got near enough, she slid from the back of the Naagii. Her knees nearly buckled from the jump, but balance was regained. Hadn’t her dignity suffered enough for today without her landing face first into the gravel again?

Righting the basket and checking it for holes, she resumed refilling it. Pieces were dusted off and set gently into the basket. She replaced even the broken ones, which were spared a disappointed grimace before being placed gently into the basket as well. Roft watched from his perch for a minute before slowly lowering himself from the back of the creature. Once on the ground, he gave a gentle hand to the side of the Naagii, giving it the silent command to stay. When Roft was finally satisfied with the look of the beast, he turned back to Laskiel and slowly toddled over.

Last edited by Lasciel Caphra, 2/13/2013, 1:47 am
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Beasts and Their Burdens


Her dark skin was glazed with a deep undertone of pink; either too much sun or too much frustration, either was entirely possible. She shot a glance up in his direction as the sound of movement and gravel caught her. She didn’t stop her work. In fact, she turned her head quickly to avoid eye contact entirely. “Do not say it… not a word”. Roft silently began picking up the scattered debris. “I was doing quite well… for a while at least”.

She as speaking about her training of the Naagii. An untrained Naagii is a very dangerous thing. Even with the breeds who’s claws were duller and teeth more keen for grinding leaves than ripping flesh, their size alone made them a risk if set loose upon the populous. Even if one had been previously trained, often times if a Naagii is left out of service for too long, it can become stubborn, ornery, and content to remain sedentary. These pose less of a danger than the young and completely untrained, but still not to be taken lightly. Generally, most would leave either such tasks to a professional wrangler. But short on gold, and just as stubborn as the most any Naagii, Lask had taken this as a challenge. She would train the lazy old best herself, save the money and use it to buy the merchandise to sell during the River City festivals.

That merchandise was now scattered across the dirt and they were far behind schedule for their appointment within the city ahead.

  “I’ve seen people train Naagii before. And the man said Sharr had been of great service to him. ‘A Loyal and docile creature Sharr had been, I wish only that I could afford to keep her’ he said.” She repeated the memory aloud, of the old inn keeper she had purchase the rogue Naagii Sharr from, with an over dramatic tone. It had seemed a good deal at the time; wonderful price well within her range. She cursed under her breath at the thought. Of course it seemed like a good deal, too good even, and the Inn keeper far too eager. ‘What type of real merchant is that much of a mark’? Lask thought.

“It’s not that bad. We’ll keep her unburdened until we can afford to get a proper trainer. Someone out by Jhrin. Not the overpriced swindlers in these northern cities,” Lask shot glances at him as she spoke, taking a moment to gage his reactions. He only grinned softly and continued to collect the items. She blew a quick huffing sigh, “I will fix this. Things will be fine.” She picked a half of a broken clay pendant that was still attached to its thong. “We’ll clean these up and sell them all at the festival. People cannot get enough of this type of thing during festival time.” This was said more for her own ear than his. She sighed again, took a moment to frown at the broken pendant, and tossed it in.
Roft set the last of the scattered items into the basket and popped the lid on and tied the loose rope closure tight. “Ya still young at this --”

“We’ve been at this for nearing two years now--”

“Ya still young at this,” he continued with a chuckle, “I’ve seen merchants who find no great stability of success until closer to their tenth year.” He hoisted up the basket and began tying it to the side saddle of the Naagii Neddin. It made no audible protests, but gave Roft an unpleasant eye. It was unaccustomed to being used as a pack animal, but well trained enough to not lose its dignity over it. “Part of the adventure of it. ” He climbed up on Neddin, then turned to offer Laskiel a hand, “You are just a bit too quick to excite and you forget yourself at times. Youth can do that to some.” The corner of her lips turned down even further. She almost hated the way he seemed to take her failures in stride. Laskiel climbed up behind him and settled in.

Neddin trotted along at a tempered pace. Roft saw no reason to drive him any harder than he needed to now that the moment of excitement had passed. The silence of the ride was a heavy thing. It left Lask too much room to dwell on the money and time that had been wasted in the face of her brashness. If she had simply paid for a trainer-- Nothing could be done for it now. She looked for a distraction. “Was it really necessary to take Junín’s mount to rescue me? You know I’ll not hear the end of it.”

A low heavy rumbling laugh emanated from the man, “If you had not managed to stray so far, I would not have needed the fastest beast available. Besides I’ll likely get quite an earful myself for a time, might be worth it though,” He leaned down and patted Neddin’s shoulder with some satisfaction. “Never had the chance to ride with such a high breed. He’s a wonder, ya?”

Lask leaned a little to get a better look. She would never admit this fully in front of Junín, but his mount was certainly beauty to behold. She had only seen one similar years before as a child during a parade thrown for a visiting dignitary passing through their town on tour. She touched his flank thoughtfully. Then a dark grin shaded her face. “Stop.”

Roft raised and eye brow, but slowed the naagii to a halt “What are you at..”

Laskiel slid off the naagii and attempted to reposition herself in front of Roft. He helped her up, “You are correct. If I’m going to have to go through Junín’s whining, then I will make it worth the trouble”. She took the reins from Roft and they shared a grin.

The naagii became a bright blue streak on the horizon.





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