Ellen, Casis


Casis comes to ogle Ellen's weyrs, and walks away with a seriously tempting offer.


It is afternoon of the fourth day of the fifth month of the seventh turn of the 12th pass.



OOC Date 10 Mar 2016 07:00


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"Though I'd warn ya - you're not careful, I'mma try and trade thy 'prentice knot for one of mine."



Ancient-cut stone stretches broad, smoothed by the wind and the weather and the rain to create a boisterous center of commerce. Wood overlays stone in places, patterned and pretty, to attract the eye of those traversing the strip to particular vendors. Though not the size of the tremendous markets of the North, the boardwalk's offerings show the knowledge of ageless crafters: Smith contraptions, Herder-certified animals, Starcraft maps and Weaver textiles are only some of the things that may be purchased, among the spicy scents of beach food and the contrast of bright shells and dark stones from the shoreline.

Commerce fears no weather! In the wake of a passing storm, the cluttering of stands and stalls may have thinned a trifle, as have the crowds of deal-hunting shoppers, but there's still plenty of bustle yet beneath interspersing awnings. It just smells clean and wet now. Ellen's is not a permanent booth but a small wagon, her display of goods hung off the side of it beneath a cloth roof held out by two sturdy poles. Her wares have a lot of color, eclectic shapes, organic and festive in equal parts - there are maps, hand-scrawled, of remote Southern regions, embroidered with colorful thread to denote footpaths and beads for landmarks; myriad hand-collected herbs hang in the dry shelter under the awning, adding a fragrant-sharp scent to the other prominent smell of smell of fresh-treated leathers and hides, dyed a plethora of colors. Feathers, flowers, spiraling twisting driftwood and other natural finds hang amongst hand-crafted wall hangings and hoops woven with bead-and-feather webs much like Pernese dreamcatchers. Ellen leans amiably to the side of the display, all heavy-built and dressed to match in an attire decorated conservatively with feathers and fringe. She's at least being polite and draping a loose scarf over her head, and a poncho around her shoulders in respect for the ways of the Nowtime. Grinning like a pitbull at people as they pass near her wagon.

With that apprentice knot Casis isn't really one that just SCREAMS that she has marks. But somewhere she's managed to collect a few small ones and with them has made her way towards where the slightly-less-expensive stuff her in Southern is sold. A scarf is wrapped around her head against the wind brought by the light rain. It's the colors which draw the teenager closer. She's shy, and thus keeps her hands FIRMLY in her pockets as she looks. The maps in particular catch her attention, and she leans in to look carefully at them.

The maps have a lot of character; while terrain and landmass are clear, there are illustrated embellishments - wind-tunnels of valleys bear caricature drawings of faces with cheeks puffed out, BLOWING lines across the hides, and the forests bear sketches of regional animals; snarl-toothed felines, detailed avian-studies with species-specific wing patterns. Fish varieties are marked in the rivers, between blue-sewn beads that mark the water's direction. Ellen, though her heavy-set body has an expansive personal space as bold as her face is coarse, remains laid back and casual, foregoing the Trader's barker tendency and allowing Casis to come nearer at her own pace, only watching from the corner of her eye. Like a shy lil' animal. "Y'a fan travel?" She asks after a moment.

Casis is completely involved in the maps when given the chance to get close to them. At the words spoken though, she pulls back with a quiet, "Oh, um." A flush of red breaks up onto her cheeks as the thin girl looks down as if she's been caught doing something wrong in her looking. "I, well, I don't travel much. I mean, it could be fun, but my place is here at the weyr, right? With my master?"

Mildly, Ellen's invisible-blond eyebrows raise, mouth twisting in cornerwise grin, "S' that a question?" She remains where she had been, leaning against the wagon with arms loosely crossed - it's a passive posture, offering no censure or aggression. Unless you count the savagely immediate focus of her squint-set gaze. "Admit. S'not a question I'd answer for ya. Always had a mind a person's place was wherever their feet stood." She points at one of maps, tacked open to expose a mountainside route along a waterfall, small metal-shavings woven into it to create an texture that sparkles. "The uh - Farway Pass Falls're gorgeous this time'a the season. — Who's ya master?"

"Well, um." Casis, not the most sure person. She shuffles a bit on her feet, bouncing slightly on her toes, before smiling shyly. "I um, yeah. They're really pretty, you know? I didn't think about that before. I spend most of my time with scrolls and stuff?" She's got this tendency to make almost everything she says a question rather than a statement. "Oh," and insert his name here, because the player doesn't remember it, "he hasn't been her really long."

That's alright, Ellen probably hasn't been around enough to recognize the name anyway. "How 'bout you?" The mention of scrolls seems to just naturally produce a long-feathered quill stylus into Ellen's hands, ploomy and bright with a sharp metal nib. She trails her fingers over the fluffy-soft tail of it without looking away from Casis - and wordlessly hands it to the girl. Here, play with this. It's SOFT. "You a native, these parts?"

Casis' gaze gets caught by that quill, her hazel eyes flicking back and forth with the very tip. For all her hesitation when it comes to touching things, she's not at ALL backward when it gets offered to her. With a bit of fumbling she gets her hands out of her pockets and takes the soft stylus into her hand, and rubs it against her face. "It's so SOFT." Excuse her distraction, before, "Oh, um. No, I'm not. I came when my Master came. Um, You?" A glance towards the maps again, "Did you make all of those?"

"Tanned the hides 'n everything," Ellen grins, scratching behind an ear as she scanned eyes over her wares, "Tried to scrawl 'em on the skins of animals I caught 'round the area, when I could. Gathered all this shit," dismissive finger wave over the feathers, the dried herbs - probably a few cleaned skulls, if you look, "From around. Out." Out There. "Well, — not the beads. Traded for those." Some are even glass - a rare commodity. She rotates back to Casis with a mannish hand extending, "I'm Ellen - of the Road. One-man caravan, me. 'Til I recruit a few warm bodies anyway. Where you hail from?"

"I mean, um, it's all really pretty. I don't think I've ever seen even half of this stuff." Casis continues to brush the feather across her face as if she just can't even get enough of the softness. Letting go of it with one hand though, Casis reaches out with her small hand to take hers. "I'm Casis, Star Craft apprentice. Um, who are you recruiting?" Casis - way too curious for her own good.

"Whoever's useful." Casis might find that curiosity in good company, Ellen's whole smile has a sense of being up to NO GOOD. The point when their hands touch down is firm and electric - Ellen doesn't clasp palms so much as wrists, warm and unhesitating, "Well. I trek frequent, 'tween the Holds n' Weyr. You ever get an itch in y'feet, I'd bring ya long. Y'ain't never seen a night sky til you slept out under it." Her eyes have grown sharper, considering Casis's face, "Though I'd warn ya - you're not careful, I'mma try and trade thy 'prentice knot for one of mine. You'd find good company. Stars're a guiding light, for Traders."

Slowwww blinking of his eyes as Casis takes in the whole wrist-grasp thing. "I, ,uh, right." She tries to grasp back as strongly as Ellen does, but she's got weak wrists from all the writing that her particular job entails. "I… never really thought about traveling, I mean, I'm just an apprentice." Her face has flushed bright red as if she's suddenly realizing how very little she knows about anything at all. "I don't know if I'd do you much good!"

The show of strength Casis attempts earns a fierce grin of approval from Ellen - her's is a pretty thick-boned wrist, the skin tough over shifting tendons. "Y'got two hands - long as you put 'em t'use, y'no less good than any other body. Traders don't really do 'apprentice' - you share my fire, pull your weight." She chews her cheek, adds with a more appraising scan of Casis's features, "Map my stars… I'd have a place f'ya at my fire. We could make some sweet marks, you'n I."

Something about the way Ellen speaks to the girl has her squaring her shoulders and seeming to be a little less mousy. "Well, um, I'd have to talk to my master first. I mean, it could be good to go out and see some new stars!" A hint of excitement breaks into her voice as fourteen-year-old excitement makes this proposition sound more exciting then it probably will be. (Rose colored glasses, anyone?) Shifting from foot to foot Casis is already halfway into the forests on a daydream as she holds that feathered stylus in her hand.

"Great," Ellen has that frank-blunt WEIGHT to her husky-heavy voice that sounds as though, as far as she's considered, it's already a Done Deal. "Might could make a Journeyman's project outta it, y'take to it. Got nothin' but respect for the Crafts, my ma was a Herder. Lived m'early turns around the Hall." She waves a dismissive hand, "Keep th' stylus, y'want. I've others."

Someone needs to tell Casis some road stories STAT before she gets herself into something her fourteen-year-old-ness isn't quite ready to deal with. Both hands come up and wrap around the stylus, and she smiles brightly. "Thank you so much! I, um, I should probably go talk to my master but I'll see what he says and tell you? He maybe might, um, want to talk to you, but I'll see what I can do!!" A step backward has a hesitation, "Is it okay if I go now?"

"Send'm my way, y'want." Ellen answers absently, itching one load-bearing shoulder against the side of the wagon like a BEAR. Her head is tipped up, watching Casis down the length of her nose - and opens one hand languidly, "I've no ropes binding you, 'prentice. Roam free as y'like."

"I will!" There's a hint of fervency in Casis' tone, like she's making a promise to herself. Backing away one step at a time Casis is a ways away before she finally turns and hurries back towards the weyr. Never mind the weather, she has someone to SEE.

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