Kretch Steamclaw's Archive

story planning notes:
some dirt farmer (literally), life-mate dies
goes out travellin'
meets this dude who is tall, hairy and drinks a lot -plot tweest: is an exiled D@3v!73

It was in the Year of the Six-Legged Ox that Rusk Ossjs lost his life-mate. In the many years that he had lived and worked the dirt-farm with his beloved, Jsakka, he had known peace. Together, they cultivated the finest dirt, the richest soil, and the most savory sediment that was ever to be tasted in the whole Sen'kai river basin. But, just as the seasons change slowly from spring through winter, so too did Rusk and Jsakka's happiness turn to sorrow when Jsakka fell ill and passed away. And so, sad and mournful Rusk decided to wander. He could not bear to stay at the farm and allow memories of better times to haunt him. Rusk decided to sell his farm and possessions, keeping only his essential documents and his life's savings. He purchased traveling supplies: a pack and cloak, water and rations, and a warm bedroll in preparation for the life of a wanderer. In the morning on the first day of the month of Aur, Rusk set off into the northwest, traveling up the eastern bank of the Sen'kai River.

Looking back, it seemed an odd decision to Rusk, that he had abandoned his simple and secure life in favor of an unpredictable life of travel. Yun-kinn like he were not the sort of people that journeyed often. Culturally, they preferred a life of quiet normalcy, tending to their dirt-farms, trading with passing caravans, and caring for their livestock. Besides, they were rarely capable of defending themselves against the dangers of the wilderness and along the roads, what with their tiny frames and meek natures.

The fertile floodlands of the basin overflowed with an abundance of life. Rolling hills and [I cant brain right now, figure this out later]

And so Rusk Ossjs, now ex-farmer, set out without purpose and without direction. Over the floodplains he travelled for five days until he came upon the city of Orra-lei, City of the River-Heart. Presenting his papers to the gate guards, Rusk made his way through the busy streets. Orra-lei sprawled along the eastern bank of the river, its western docks built over the waters of the lake, Sen'kai-Tamua. The population was diverse, with Threens living alongside Yunn-kinn and Boroks alike. It wasn't anywhere near as metropolitan as the Great City Karneph, however. Rusk had planned to see that city for himself some day.

It was the middle of the day. Rusk made his way to the nearest inn, tired as he was from roaming. The inn was mostly empty, the tavern on the ground level's only patrons at the present were a few of the four-armed Threens, drinking and gesticulating widely as they told exaggerated stories, and a large and peculiar creature sitting alone at the farthest table, drinking from a gourd. Rusk approached the innkeeper at the counter, standing on his tiptoes to see over it. The innkeeper looked down over the counter at Rusk and smiled. "And what may I help you with this day, sir?" he asked.

"Pardon, would you happen to have an available room for the night?" said Rusk.

"We do, sir. It is two star-shards a night," the innkeeper said as he cleaned a drinking glass with his lower set of hands. Rusk searched his belt pouch and paid the innkeeper. "Anything else I can do for you, sir? Would you like a drink? Something to eat, perhaps?"

"Umm… No. Perhaps later though," Rusk said sheepishly.

"Alright. Well make yourself comfortable, sir." The innkeeper pocketed the star-shards and returned to cleaning the bar.

Rusk walked to an empty table and climbed up onto the stool. He sighed. Memories of Jsakka returned to him. It was the first time he had ever traveled without them. He closed his eyes in a vain hope that when he opened them, Jsakka would be next to him, smiling their wide, toothy grin like they always would. Lost in his thoughts, he did not notice the large creature from the back table take a seat across from him.

"Greetings there!" it said in a booming voice. Rusk jumped in surprise. The creature was at least twice as tall as he, and of broad build like a bull ox. Curly black fur covered the top of its head and upon its jaw. Its olive skin was almost devoid of fur and its two long arms each ended in a hand with five stubby tendrils. It took a long drink from its gourd. "I did not mean to frighten you. You looked as though you could use a drink, friend," it said, offering the gourd to Rusk.

Rusk was quite frightened despite the creature's friendly demeanor. "I… uh… I mean…" he stammered. The thing smiled and pushed the gourd into Rusk's hands.

"Please, I insist," it said. Rusk did not want to risk offending a beast so much larger than himself. Cautiously, Rusk took a drink. He gagged immediately, spitting out the drink in a mist over the tabletop. His mouth felt as though he had eaten an Ornithian fire-pepper in one bite. The creature laughed boisterously.

"Ugh, what was that?" Rusk asked between coughs.

"Firewater, friend. Not a fan of it are you?"

"No, it is not that… I—"

"Well, that is quite alright. You did not waste any, if that is what you are worried about. The gourd refills itself. I am Muranu," the thing said as he took another long drink from his gourd.

"What is it that you want?" Rusk asked, still wary. He had always been uncertain around strangers.

Muranu leaned back and smirked. "I am simply making conversation, friend. I am a foreigner in a strange land with neither friends nor family to accompany me. What about yourself?"

"I am a wanderer, I suppose. Rusk is my name. Rusk Ossjs."

"Ah, a fellow wanderer. I have been looking for a traveling companion for some time now. My previous companions decided not to follow me to this land. Would you care to join me? You have an air about you; I sense you are just as lost as I am."

Rusk blinked and stared at Muranu. Was it so obvious that Rusk was so dispirited? This Muranu person was very forward; he scarcely knew Rusk and was already asking him to journey with him. "Where are you headed, Muranu?" said Rusk.

"Nowhere," Muranu said. "But that is the fun of it all!"

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