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* Plot Information for Nharkava

Rebellion has swept the Territory in the south as Glacia dominates the north. Landen and Blood join forces to spread a message of equality with any method possible while Glacia works to infuse the land with power and the people with their Dark Beliefs. The Rebellion, led by a Council of Eight, is not always in agreement but none can resist the power, and the danger, the movement has generated.
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Author Topic: No Friend Like a New Friend  (Read 69 times)

Description: Attn: Kiara

Offline Kharisande Lehmda

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      Nharkava

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No Friend Like a New Friend
« on: Aug 03, 17, 06:23:53 PM »
Almost an entire year she'd been living on this estate, and she was finally, FINALLY, growing comfortable enough to greet people by their personal names rather than by their protocol'd titles.  Comfortable enough to speak to others about the Healer's usual requests for her meals.

Lady Kiara Makur preferred her fare rather simple... but entirely simple just would not do for the meal she was planning to welcome the Lady to the Estate in her own way.  So she'd sent Vishal to get her a plump chicken, and she'd also had him pick up the various vegetables and spices from the market. 

She'd had a year to work on that chicken soup recipe that she'd first used on Devesh... and she'd experimented with it many times.  She'd finally found what she believed to be a most pleasing blend of Dhemlanese spices with Nharkavan flavors... a good blend to represent herself.  It was a little spicy, but she preferred her food with a bit of kick anyways. 

She had packaged everything in the containers meant for servants delivering meals, and she'd laid her garnishes on the tray so that she could make sure everything was 'presented' with a bit of panache.  She'd even put on one of the Nharkavan Saris that Vishal had bought her.  The first month of wearing these things had been a bit... blush-worthy.  But she'd grown rather fond of them.  The twists and turns of the fabric could get quite creative, and the decorative styling of the Nharkavan people had grown on her.

Some days, she even forgot her longings for her home village. 

She quietly slid in to the Healer's hut, blinking a little in an effort to adjust to the difference in lighting before settling the tray on the table.  The Healer would be back any moment, and she wanted her dinner ready.  She was quick about unpackaging the soup and the bread, and even quicker about placing the garnish on the rim of the bowl and laying out the napkin and utensils.  A splash of wine into a glass, and she could whisk the tray away.

The bowl, she had been told, was spelled to keep the soup at the temperature it had been when she'd ladled it... so even if the Healer took longer than she expected, everything should still be grand.  She set about lighting a few candles, and then moved to the door to wait for the Healer at her Entrance.

She was a little nervous.  It was the first 'welcome' she'd done for anyone with only her own two hands... and she was hoping the Healer would be kind enough to let her know with honesty if it was well done or not. 

Offline Kiara Makur

    • ss2bo
    • healer
    • Role

      Devi

    • Faction

      Padmalaya Estate

    • Territory

      Nharkava

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Phedre

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      17

    • I'll feed your need

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Re: No Friend Like a New Friend
« Reply #1 on: Aug 03, 17, 08:58:16 PM »
The Devi had spent her day in ritual with the Priest Prince. The demands he placed on her body during such rituals were not insignificant and by the end, as the rush of endorphins finally wore off, she found she was quite tired. It had been an extremely satisfying day, Devesh's skill in ritual something that few could compare with. She was pleased to help him in his work, if not a bit surprised how often he sought her out for her assistance. She had made clear to him that she was not ready to bear his child, despite his playful urgings, and there were any number of other women who were quite prepared to do so.

Still, it seemed that at times he preferred her company to theirs, something that she could understand. She preferred his company at times as well, the quiet seriousness of his nature, the way he viewed things with such pragmatism. He never offered her jealousy for how she chose to express her desires or with who, and cared little about what she did with her time as long as she was available when he needed her, be it for ritual or caring for the Matrikas. His gifts since her arrival had been sweepingly extravagant, and no arguments from her seemed to phase him. At least he had yielded on allowing her the small Healer's cottage near the Temple. It was already starting to feel like home.

Kiara approached the cottage and saw a Landen woman waiting for her. Devesh had described her situation when he had first returned to take over the estate. Kiara had been appalled by the entirety of. Well, almost. She had found Devesh's punishment of the woman's former Master to be quite fitting. Devesh had been quite exasperated by the entire thing. She had listened, commiserated, and distracted his mind and body when he needed and desired it.

She had made a point of learning the names of everyone on the estate. These were people she would be working with daily. It was truly the very least she could do. "Hello, Kharisande. Are you well? Is there something I can help you with?" She yearned to sweep the woman's body with Craft to ensure she wasn't hurt, but after the violations she had endured, Kiara would take no such liberties without her express consent.

Offline Kharisande Lehmda

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    • landen
    • female
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      Nharkava

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      Erica

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Re: No Friend Like a New Friend
« Reply #2 on: Aug 03, 17, 11:05:45 PM »
She smiled, bowing a bit.  "Oh no, I am quite well.  I simply wanted to bring you a gift as a Welcome for joining the Estate."  She smiled, nervously adjusting the edges of her sari as it draped over her arm.  "I hope you don't mind, but I made your dinner this evening."

She flushed a bit, clearing her throat.  "Well at any rate.  I assumed with how long you were in the Temple today, you likely would need a good meal."  She carefully motioned towards the door.  "I even set everything up for you so that you didn't have to worry about it."  She paused.  "I hope you don't mind.  I thought you might be a bit tired."

She felt a little nervous.  What if Kiara was upset that she'd taken the liberties of setting it up?  Or if she didn't like it?  Her bottom lip sucked into her mouth for a moment, and then she let it loose and granted Kiara a smile.  "If you would like, I could join you.  Vishal is going to be working late tonight, and I .. would like to be out of our rooms for a little while."  Rooms.  She had her own small set of rooms.  And a husband.  As ..symbolic.. as the marriage was, it didn't change that she had one.  One that she was actually sort of fond of, and who was fond of her. 

Vishal, she suspected, loved her far more than she loved him.  And that was fine.  She wasn't in love with anyone else, and she certainly trusted Vishal enough to indulge his needs.  And a year of having this sort of lifestyle had... well, it had made her more comfortable.  Comfortable enough to do this for a Healer that was known for her gentility, at any rate.

Offline Kiara Makur

    • ss2bo
    • healer
    • Role

      Devi

    • Faction

      Padmalaya Estate

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      Nharkava

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      Phedre

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    • I'll feed your need

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Re: No Friend Like a New Friend
« Reply #3 on: Aug 05, 17, 05:51:32 AM »
Kiara smiled warmly at the kindness of the Landen woman before her. No longer a slave, it was Kiara's understanding she had chosen to stay on in a domestic capacity, regardless Devesh's urging that she never lift a finger again after what had been done to her. Kiara did not know all the specifics, but she had helped Devesh work through his frustration that she would not condone the killing of her former master. Instead, he had wed the pair, and forced Vishal to serve her in any way she chose.

Service was not something that was easy to breed out of the blood once it took hold. Kharisande seemed to take pride in her work, something Kiara would certainly not deny her, even if she, too, wished the woman would allow herself to be cared for now in repayment of what she had suffered at the hands of the Blood. "I would love for you to join me!" she replied brightly, motioning for Kharisande to either lead or follow her into the house. Kiara had never lived with servants before this and she had no clear idea how to interact with them. She simply viewed them as others who worked on the estate, but she did understand there were certain customs around such things with which she was unfamiliar.

Upon her arrival, when Devesh had attempted to give her a house, he had intended her a full staff as well. She had made it clear that was not necessary, but she would not deny those of the estate their gainful employment. As long as she treated them well, a thought to do otherwise would never occur to her, Devesh seemed to care nothing for how or when she interacted with them.

The more time she spent with him here on his family's estate, the more she realized there were really only two levels in his caring about things. Either it was intensely important and deserved respect, time, and attention, or he didn't care at all as long as it didn't interfere with the work of the former.

Entering the Healer's cottage, Kiara saw the beautiful way the food had been laid out. The scent of the meal had already blended with the scent of the drying herbs that hung from the ceiling. "Kharisande, this looks lovely!" Having people to cook for her was something she was learning to enjoy, especially at the end of a long day with Devesh when her mind and muscles were tired. She pulled out a chair to sit and motioned for Kharisande to do the same. "This was very generous of you. Thank you."

Offline Kharisande Lehmda

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      Nharkava

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      Erica

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Re: No Friend Like a New Friend
« Reply #4 on: Aug 05, 17, 06:33:37 AM »
She blushed, a little, as Kiara waxed her pleasure about the meal and the presentation into the air.  It did a great deal to calm her nerves, though, so there was at least that.  It had taken a little time to get used to people other than Vishal giving her compliments on her work.

And some still did not.  She didn't take it personally.  They expected good things, and so to receive good things was not necessarily something worthy of recognition.

She settled at the table, carefully setting her own bowl up from the rather large serving bowl awaiting Kiara.  She didn't need nearly as much as the Healer would, she'd learned from experience.  Of course, she didn't have the ability to tell how dark they were without asking... but she'd learned how to find that out years ago.  Or at least, a general sense of it. 

Lady Kiara waws Dark, but not as Dark as Devesh.  Planning a meal for her was not as taxing.  "I hope you like it.  It's a favorite of mine from my old home, though I've tweaked it to match the Nharkavan spice collection."  She smiled, just a bit, and watched as Lady Makur took a good sip. 
As the woman didn't seem disgusted, she felt free enough to take a few sips of her own.  It was only after a few peaceful sips that she seemed to get a more questioning look on her face.  Devesh could still occasionally confound her.  Sometimes it seemed that she could never quite seem to find a way to speak to him without frustrating the man's patience.  Kiara, on the other hand, seemed much more... approachable.

"Lady Makur... it might seem a bit forward to ask, and if so please forgive me, but I was wondering if perhaps you would not mind teaching me a bit about midwifery?"  She paused, and then let a soft laugh leave her lips.  "I know that I've no Craft about me at all.. but as I'll likely have to live for quite some time, it seems wise to cater skills that could be of use further on in life.  Being a midwife would be a very productive life, I think."  Perhaps she could even get the healer to teach her how to make contraceptive brews that would work on Landen.

She knew they were possible - she used them, after all.  But no matter which books she poured over, the only ones she found were for Blood.  Far too strong for Landen women who might someday wish to conceive.  It wasn't exactly something she felt comfortable experimenting with. 

Offline Kiara Makur

    • ss2bo
    • healer
    • Role

      Devi

    • Faction

      Padmalaya Estate

    • Territory

      Nharkava

    • Character Sheet

      [Link]

    • OOC

      Phedre

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    • I'll feed your need

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Re: No Friend Like a New Friend
« Reply #5 on: Aug 12, 17, 06:58:52 AM »
Kiara enjoyed the soup immensely, and said so. It wasn't just that the food was good. It was, quite good, actually. It was that Kharisande had gone to such lengths to prepare something for her and to even lay it out in a lovely way. That spoke of a care and consideration that went beyond what was expected of a typical servant, or at least Kiara thought so? The whole concept was still quite new to her overall.

She wasn't quite sure how Devesh adjusted so easily, perhaps because this was the life he was born to. He was also a truly pragmatic being, while Kiara's actions and words almost always came from the heart. They were partnered well in this way, bringing distinct energy to Devesh's holy work. The work required much from her body as well as her heart, and she gave of it freely, easily opening herself to the needs of his faith. Her body was strong and healthy, the perfect vehicle for her to experience the world through. And it pleased Devesh in turn, which granted her deep happiness.

Her feelings for her employer were complex. She respected him and had happily taken work beneath him. The physical intimacy required of his rituals were acts both seemed to enjoy immensely. And yes, when she decided to have a child, she could easily see seeking out Devesh as the father. She cared deeply for him, loved him even, but she was not infatuated with him, nor did she seek out his affections or anything more than he freely offered.

He was not physically demonstrative, but he more than made up for it in other ways, such as this beautiful cottage he had built for her near the temple. There was nothing she needed or wanted for. She imagined he saw it is a reasonable choice to keep her happy with her employ here, while she saw it as generous beyond measure. She was rapidly learning when it made more sense to simply accept than to argue and watch him find another way to accommodate her that suited him.

When Kharisade made her request, Kiara's eyes softened. It was true that much of what she did required Craft, but certainly there was a great deal that was instinct, long ago learned through the trial and error of her patients.

"Of course I will teach you. Absolutely. Yes, there are thing you will not be able to learn, but I believe there is far more that I can teach you than not." She paused eating to make the offer and to study the woman for a moment. "Is there a more specific reason you ask? Are you in need of a midwife? Is someone close to you?" Silently, she prayed that the woman would not allow her former Master to impregnant her. As much as she did not understand the relationship, it was not hers to judge.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Offline Kharisande Lehmda

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    • landen
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      Nharkava

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      Erica

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Re: No Friend Like a New Friend
« Reply #6 on: Aug 12, 17, 02:23:01 PM »
Kharisande was pleased. Very pleased, actually.  Kiara was a kind, soft hearted woman.  It was almost easy to forget that she was a powerfully Jewelled Blood.  She had found many of the Nharkavan people, at least near Devesh' estate, were kind.  At first, she had wondered why.

As she studied Devesh' books?  She began to realize that they were driven by their faith to be so.  The concept of being reborn to improve one's Self was... interesting.  She often wondered if she should just ask the male.. but Devesh still made her a bit nervous.  And she knew it would frustrate him to know so. 

So she tried to keep things simple, succint, and polite.  So far?  It seemed to work quite well.  With Kiara, she didn't feel as if she had to walk on such careful footing... at least not quite as much.

So when the question poured from Kiara's lips as to whether she needed a midwife, Kharisande looked a bit startled... and then started quietly laughing.  "Oh no, Lady Makur... not at all. Vishal wishes for children someday but..."  She thought about it, shaking her head.  She wasn't sure she'd ever be able to do it.  The idea of baring a child to a Blood male was.. terrifying. She loved Vishal, in her own way.  But it wasn't the all encompassing love that some seemed to think it must be for her to have saved his life.

She'd saved his life out of respect and obligation - not because he was a Master, but because he had been kinder than any she'd had.  When he'd bed her, he hadn't left her in need of Healing.  When he had bought her, he'd started teaching her how to speak her mind again.  He'd encouraged her to explore her life, and worked at drawing her out of her shell.  He'd never struck her.  Not once.

She'd tried to explain it to Devesh once... and he hadn't understood.  Now she knew why.  To him, these were basic things that all people deserved until they proved they didn't.  He couldn't seem to grasp that she'd lived without such luxuries for so long that they were great gifts when Vishal gave them.  And perhaps, she was willing to admit, he was right.  Perhaps she should have been more willing to bring an extreme punishment on Vishal's shoulders for not immediately freeing her upon arrival to Nharkava.

But she couldn't bring herself to do it.  She couldn't return the kindness he'd shown her - in comparison to all other masters - by standing idly by as he was killed or Broken.  When Devesh had then insisted taht they be married, she'd been a bit startled.  When Devesh had insisted that Vishal serve her for the same number of years that he'd owned her?  She'd been completely speechless.

She was certain that Devesh thought she was not hard enough on Vishal - but she wasn't going to treat him like a slave.  And she didn't have to. Whatever she asked of him, Vishal did. And he did it without complaint.  They had spoken a great deal over the last year. 

"I know he wants children.  He's admitted as much - though he would never ask me to do so.  And I... don't think I want them at all."  It wasn't just about Vishal, or the Blood... she wasn't sure she'd ever be able to stomach the fear she'd carry for her children if she ever had them.  She'd seen far too much cruelty in her short life than someone her age should.  She knew exactly how dark the world could become, and exactly how quickly.

If her children ever disappeared, she'd likely die from the surety of what had happened.  Not that it was likely in Nharkava... but she'd had nightmares of such a thing for years.  IT wasn't something she could just... get over.  "Perhaps someday.  I'll live a very long time, barring incidents.  But now?  Now I just want to learn so that I will have a useful skill."  She gave Kiara a smile.  "Landen women need midwives... and in Dhemlan, at least, there often weren't any Healers around for the women of my village.  My people were often on their own in such things... and I imagine it isn't all that different in other territories."

Offline Kiara Makur

    • ss2bo
    • healer
    • Role

      Devi

    • Faction

      Padmalaya Estate

    • Territory

      Nharkava

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      Phedre

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      17

    • I'll feed your need

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Re: No Friend Like a New Friend
« Reply #7 on: Aug 16, 17, 05:31:32 AM »
Kiara raised her eyebrows at Kharisande's revelation that often Landen women didn't have midwives. Here in Nharkava, such a thing was simply commonplace. "It's understandable that they might not have access to Jeweled Healers, but no midwives at all? No one who understands the way of a woman's body to carry and bear her children?" Her voice held no small amount of surprise. How were women kept alive? How were the babies cared for? Was death in the child bed merely a common fact of life for Landen women in other Territories? Honestly, she had never considered such a thing.

She mulled over the new knowledge in her mind while she continued to eat. She also thought on Kharisande's words concerning Vishal and his desire for children. Kiara didn't care in the least what Vishal wanted, except perhaps to learn the opposite approach to take when interacting with him. What he had done disgusted her, and while she had urged temperance to Devesh during his hours considering the fate of the man who had held this woman captive and enslaved, in truth she wished that Kharisande could be rid of him altogether. Still, her heart was clearly not ready for such a thing. One grows accustomed to what they know, and removing it entirely, no matter how unwelcome, can be devastating to the mind and soul.

"If you do not want children, do you have the proper way to ensure you will not have any? I make contraceptive brews for Landen women as well as for Blood. I would be happy to give you some." She thought for a moment, looking over the food, considering the request that she could learn her own kind of healing. "Or I could teach you to make it, and you could make your own. For yourself and any other women you know who might need it."

While it was not uncommon for Kiara to assist in births of women from all castes, it would be useful to have another set of hands to help, and perhaps the Landen women would feel more comfortable interacting with someone who did not wear Jewels. Kiara was aware that with the power she wielded came a certain responsibility as well. She had not personally been placed in a position where a choice had to be made, but she knew it was a line many of the Blood walked. Fear of those who wore Jewels was understandable, even if it was generally outside of her own experiences.

"Child birth is something a woman's body knows how to do. She may have forgotten, but her body has not. Often the main job of a midwife is to teach her how to trust her own instincts once again. If something goes wrong, then having a Healer can be very important. But for the most part, things do not go wrong, not if a woman is allowed to take care of her body and her child in the way that is the most natural for her. Unfortunately, there are some who believe there should be more control over the process. In my experience, this can interfere with the birth and stress the mother." She offered the thoughts while she ate, already sharing her knowledge with the other woman easily. It was not a great secret to be guarded, but rather something to be shared and allowed to enrich the lives of as many woman as possible.

Offline Kharisande Lehmda

  • Character Account
    • landen
    • female
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      Nharkava

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      Erica

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Re: No Friend Like a New Friend
« Reply #8 on: Aug 16, 17, 01:30:08 PM »
"Oh, there were some... but not many.  One or two, perhaps, and they had to serve a few villages.  If you couldn't get them, then..."  She shrugged, a little, before cracking a soft smile at Kiara.  "Where I was from... the landen are not given such kind considerations as they are here." 

She paused, wondering how best to explain this.  It would dip into things she would rather forget - but she knew better than to assume she could ever just forget how sixteen of her years had disappeared.  "The fact I was... sold... was because the Landen's freedoms are not seen as being as worthy as the Blood's, in my homeland.  Everything we had, we had to fight for - and .. to put it bluntly... most of the Blood would not bat an eyelash at the troubles Landen faced."  She could use different words, truly she could.  But she was trying to be kind about it.

"Rather than take Alejandro for his debts, they chose to take his landen lover.  Women, you see, are so much more useful for the purposes they could charge most for."  She blinked a few times, raising her eyes to Kiara.  "Not that they would advertise this, Lady Makur... in my home, slavery is still hidden.  But it was getting more popular in the underground market by the time I ... left.  If the outlook upon my people was that we were worth so little consideration, it can't be too surprising that Blood Healers would not be interested in helping our women bare their children in safety, can it?"

She set her spoon to the side, looking towards the fireplace.  "I can't go home... but I can't help but think that there are territories where the Landen are in similar positions.  Where they won't be able to go to universities, or learn the things that they can do to support themselves."  She glanced over Kiara, before turning her eyes back to the fireplace.  "So yes... I would like to learn what I can of the healing arts.  I would like to be able to help those that need it."

Her eyes dropped down to her hands, studying the delicate appearance of her hands.  "I have Vishal obtain my contraceptives... but learning to make my own would be lovely. Learning to midwife would ..."  She smiled.  "It would make sure that I always have a way to make a home, wouldn't it?  For when things here change, or when I must move on?"  Devesh wouldn't live forever.  There was no guarantee that she would be welcome here sixty years from now.

She missed the fields outside her village.  She missed her mother, and her friends.  She missed... everything.  She missed her home.  Nharkava was lovely, and its people were so much friendlier to her than the Blood of Dhemlan.  Someday, perhaps, Nharkava might be home.  Someday, the knot in her shoulders might loosen enough for her to feel as if she didn't have to be ready to bolt at a moment's notice.

But she still worried about being the outsider here.  She still worried that something could go terribly wrong... and she still woke from her nightmares with sweat on her skin and her heart hammering beneath her ribs.  She didn't tell Vishal about that.  He slept in a different room, most of the time.  Usually when the nightmares came, she would dress and quietly creep her way to the temple.  At least there, the calming atmosphere helped her breath.  She'd been there every night for the last two weeks, actually, though she tried to be gone by the time dawn rolled around.