Immediately follows A Roof and a Bed. Amania starts settling into her new abode and thinks a bit on the one important thing she left behind.


It is early evening of the thirteenth day of the sixth month of the eleventh turn of the 12th pass.


Amania's Yurt; Caravan Grounds, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 03 Aug 2017 06:00



If she could come here, with the Zingari…


Amania's Yurt (Caravan Grounds)

Deep grooves in the hard packed earth criss-cross a large patch of denuded ground, bearing mute testament to the caravans that frequent this area. Despite the midden holes set back a ways from the main center of traffic, the air is sweet, redolent with the sagebrush that forms a loose perimeter around the flattened expanse. In what is as close to its center as the vague boundaries suggest, a stone ringed fire pit has been dug and surrounded with the odd log or two, ash overflowing from its darkly blackened core.


A simple cot frame and mattress, a pillow, simple linen sheets, all set up in a matter of moments. Amania has a bed. It’s a step up from the cot in the terraces. Several steps up from the neat pile of reeds and skins she’d slept on in the Underground. And somehow, she can rightfully claim it as hers.

Straightening, she sets her satchel down on it, her crossbow and the little bag that Timotin had given her following after. She turns around, surveying the inside of the yurt. Her yurt. A home to call her own as well. She isn’t certain she’s not dreaming just yet.

The space seems far too large right now, the bed being the only furniture she’s acquired. Unexpectedly acquired, at that. But the latticework walls of the tent seem to enfold and embrace her, welcoming, and she finds herself beginning to envision just how she might fill the spare space around her. She’ll be able to now, bit by bit. She’ll be earning her keep and repaying the hospitality of her new home in earnest.

Timotin had seemed a little regretful that he’d only had brown canvas for her, but she thinks she rather likes it. It’s the color of rain-soaked sand, and the sunlight coming through has a warm amber quality that she finds peaceful, after giving it some consideration. Some might find the tone too harsh or hot for their liking, but she’s always loved the desert sunlight, especially at dawn and sunset, and living without it shining in regularly makes her that much more appreciative. In other words, the brown canvas suits her just fine.

Her eyes following the long ribs of the squat, conical roof up to the ring that supports them, the deep blue circle of sky visible above seeming almost shocking against the brown. She notes the vent flaps that can be closed with the help of props that hook out of the way against a couple of the ribs and reaches up to experiment with them. Best to know how they work and how quickly she can handle them for when the weather turns foul.

After securing them open again, she simply moves about the space, her little gold Dhahabi gliding in her wake after peering in over the edge of the roof ring. Amania walks the circumference, trailing her fingers over the smooth pole-reed slats of the lattice, all the way around until she comes to the bed again. Moving her satchel over, she sits near the pillow, contemplating her crossbow before carefully setting it on the floor and stowing it beneath the cot.

She hasn’t looked in the little bag at all yet but knows it has some weight to it. It’s an issue she presently solves, dark brows hiking in surprise when she pulls out a bottle of whiskey. It had been sneaky of Willimina to spring it on her by spiking her drink with the stuff earlier…or perhaps it’s just such a common thing for the Zingari, that it was done unthinking. At least her introduction to alcohol had come in friendly company. But had she liked it enough to give it another try? Considering she feels quite alright at the moment, she supposes so. She pops the cork on the bottle with an unpracticed tug, brings it to her nose, and sniffs. The sharpness of the spirit has her eyes briefly watering, but she isn’t repulsed per se. It bears some consideration. She’ll be saving it for later certainly.

Sealing and setting the whiskey aside, she turns her attention to the second item in the bag - a curious little satchel of hard lumps. She opens it and upends a few into her hand surprised when a musky and subtly spicy scent reaches her nostrils without effort. Oh. Oh, she likes this. And she even knows what it is, having seen incense sold here and there in the bazaar. She’ll need a brazier, a flint and striker…

Dhahabi crawls up onto Amania’s thigh to investigate, sniffing the sweet-scented roundels of ash while her bonded considers her slyly. “I don’t suppose you’d oblige?” she asks the little queen, and chuckles when the gold utters a haughty snort. Though she doesn’t give off a true sense of feeling above the idea. “It wouldn’t be wise to do it now, anyway,” the girl adds, and Dhahabi gives a little scold that passes for agreement before moving to sit primly on Amania’s pillow.

The gifts are set beside the crossbow beneath the cot. Amania opens her satchel then, slender fingers unfastening the ties almost thoughtfully…or perhaps reluctantly. One by one, she takes each thing that’s hers, remnants of her past life, reminders of survival, and sets them on the end of the cot.

A plain, undyed linen tunic, lightly lined for hunting in the winter.

Two light tunics for summer, one a deep, dusty maroon and the other an off white that had once been purely so.

A grey skirt of crinkled cotton that had once been her mother’s.

A pair of simple but sturdy leather sandals. They’d been simple to make and repair without looking overly rustic, at least.

Soft, grey hide shoes, also easy to fashion and fix but often patched.

Wrapped in one of her blue headscarves, a sheathed belt knife forged in one piece with a handle wrapped in dark wherhide and silver cord. She’d been told it was her father’s - her real father’s. The only evidence she has of his existence, apart from herself.

A small kit made up of wooden shafts, tiny iron and stone arrowheads, fletching, a coil of leather thread, and a glue pot, for making crossbow bolts, all wrapped up in a leather roll. It had taken months to get all the components together.

Another little leather roll comprised of a half-empty oil pot and brush, a few small wrenches, picks, and tightening tools, and half a dozen lengths of bowstring, for repairs to her weapon.

Another little oil pot for Dhahabi, which she’d traded some labor for at the caravanserai on her way here.

Lastly comes something rather out of place - a crude but well-loved doll. Amania pulls it free with great care, holding it almost gingerly in both hands upon her lap. It isn’t that it’s fragile. There’s just a weight to it, one that sits heavy upon her heart. A finger traces the burlap body stuffed with dried, pounded reeds and bound with coarse thread, the stitched eyes and nose and smile and little black lines meant to mark the splits of fingers and toes, the dress made of the scraps of an ancient green tunic. It’s stained from tears and a tiny mouth gummig and chewing it for comfort and distraction. Amania sniffs it gently, the faint, milky-musty scent lingering from a baby’s Turns with it kept close bringing a sweet face to mind.

Cheeks made easily ruddy from crying or hunger or joy.

Little five-Turn-old fingers clutching her dolly uncertainly and then holding it up for Amania to take.

Black hair tied into two little plaits.

Big green eyes, wide with the news that Amania was leaving but hopeful she’d come back.

Maevra, her youngest cousin, was the only one who cared about her, and for whom she’d cared back. She was still so young, innocent to the harshness of life…or at least unaware of it so far. “Lessie can go with you so you don’t be lonely,” she’d said the night Amania had taken her for a bath and told her she was going away. “Then bring her back so I don’t be lonely.

Amania hadn’t intended to ever look back. Maevra hadn’t understood, of course. But in that moment, she knew she couldn’t leave her littlest cousin there to scrape by as she had. Kurkar might improve now that it’s on the map, might lose some of its shady rigidity and reputation…but Amania doubts. And she simply doesn’t want to risk the chance of that little girl having to fight for every shred of dignity she ought to have without difficulty.

If she could come here, with the Zingari…oh, the fun she’d have! A child should have the chance to have fun. Fun and health and love.

Amania falls back on her bed, the doll against her chest as she stares up at the ribbed ceiling. She’d looked to her own survival above all else, always with an end goal of leaving. She’d done selfish things to get here and suddenly finds herself in a position that won’t really allow for selfishness anymore…not that she needs it now. And once she’s secure? Perhaps she’ll stay for good, if she can learn to fit. And then… Then she’ll go get Maevra.

“Hang in there, kid,” she murmurs to the circle of sky in her roof. It blurs a bit as tears suddenly sting the edges of her eyes. “I’ll be back.”

The scent of food wafts in from above as though cued by her words, along with the sound of many voices in happy conversation. Warmth and light, laughter and food. This is what a home should have.

Amania sniffs once, blinking to clear the evidence of too much emotion from her eyes, and sits up, putting the doll back in the satchel before she rises.

If this is to be home, she’d better go meet the family. No better place for that than over dinner.

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